IGI Deal Expands Fudan University’s Gem Program

By Jeff Miller

courtesy of Rapaport

RAPAPORT…  The International Gemological Institute (IGI) signed an education agreement with Fudan University’s Shanghai Institute of Visual Art that calls for IGI and the university to develop new gemological programs as part of its jewelry design curriculum. The new courses will be offered as early as the third quarter of 2010.

“This is significant inasmuch as IGI’s expertise and its worldwide position is recognized by a world-class Chinese institution,” said Marc Brauner, IGI’s co-chief executive officer (CEO) in Hong Kong. “Last year, after IGI’s nationwide education series targeting the private sector, we were invited to host some pilot classes at the Institute for jewelry design students. That turned out to be so successful that IGI and the institute decided to explore further cooperation.”

IGI, which has offered educational programs since 1981, now also provides its students the option of pursuing an IGI Graduate Gemologist Diploma. The institute’s programs are offered in over 12 countries today, including India, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Italy, Turkey and Belgium.

In China, IGI courses are offered through the Shanghai Vocational Center, which has produced 400 graduates since the center began hosting the program in 2000. As China emerged as a major growth market for diamonds, its consumers demanded more accurate and complete information about what they were buying. That process, in turn, obliged jewelers to upgrade their professional skills.

“There is a notable market demand for gemological courses developed by international labs like ours,” said Brauner. He explained that IGI had been approached by a number of universities “so we are naturally honored to have established ties with an institution of the caliber of Shanghai Institute of Visual Art at Fudan University.”


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