Soochow University to open school in Laos

14:17, April 20, 2011      

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Soochow University, Laos (SUL), an overseas affiliate school of Soochow University in China's Suzhou, is expected to officially open in 2012. This will be the first overseas university run by a higher education institution from the mainland.

Soochow University began education cooperation with Laos in 2007 and has since been laying the groundwork for the opening of SUL. In 2010, Soochow University obtained the approval of the Lao government to provide undergraduate and graduate education in the country, becoming the first foreign educational institution to gain such approval.

Its plan to start an overseas school was recently approved by the Jiangsu provincial government, and enrollment will begin next year after the Chinese Ministry of Education finally approves the plan.

Wang Jiexian, director of the Representative Office of Soochow University in Laos, said that SUL will cover a total area of 200,000 square meters and has a total of 25 million U.S. dollars of investments. As the main investor in the school, Soochow University has reached an agreement with a Suzhou-based company to co-build SUL. It will send Chinese teachers to Laos at the initial stage, but will gradually employ more local teachers.

SUL will offer altogether 12 majors, including Chinese language and literature, economy and trade and engineering, to around 5,000 students.

Soochow University is part of China's Project 211 and a key comprehensive university in Jiangsu province. It consists of 20 colleges covering 11 disciplines, and has a student population of over 50,000, including over 1,300 international students from 37 countries. Starting a school outside China is an important strategy for Soochow University to develop into a world-renowned university.

By People's Daily Online
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