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UNESCO Approves Aalborg Centre for Problem Based Learning

The General Conference of UNESCO has approved the establishment of a Centre for Problem Based Learning in Engineering Science and Sustainability at Aalborg University in Denmark, as a Category 2 Centre established under the auspices of UNESCO.

(First published November 18, 2013)

The overall mission and objectives of the Aalborg UNESCO Centre are to develop the role of universities in promoting engineering, science and sustainability education and innovation through the creation of a global centre and network of excellence on Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) for knowledge sharing, education and capacity building to address global challenges through North-South and South-South cooperation.

Engineering, science, technology and innovation are of vital importance in addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals and related global challenges ­ especially sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Cleaner and greener
Particular challenges for engineering and science include the need to develop cleaner, greener technologies, and to encourage more young people into engineering through the transformation of engineering education.

Problem and project based learning has been shown to play an important role as an effective framework for educating engineers and scientists for solving complex tasks in a collaborative framework.

Aalborg University has 40 years of experience in the field of PBL, and is a pioneer and world-leader in this field. The Aalborg PBL model focuses on student-centred critical and creative inquiry, reflective, iterative and various forms of e-learning, open curricula and group-learning in a democratic and participative environment.

It is an educational paradigm characterised by development and action-orientation, interdisciplinarity and innovation that promotes sustainability.

Chair and centre
Aalborg University works in close cooperation with industry, and Aalborg graduates have high employability.

Aalborg University is host to a very successful UNESCO Chair in Problem Based Learning in Engineering Education, established in 2007. Also, a Centre for PBL and Sustainability was established in 2009, within the Faculty of Engineering and Science, with support from the Danish Obel foundation.

The UNESCO Aalborg Centre for Problem Based Learning in Engineering Science and Sustainability will build upon and develop the work of the UNESCO Chair and Centre for PBL and Sustainability, and is keenly supported by Aalborg University and the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

PBL at Aalborg University

Students doing problem-based learning at Aalborg University