Joint Venture on Education

North Rhine-Westphalia of Germany, which includes the Rhur Valley, is changing the frameworks of its laws and its education system to attract talent from China.

"These gifted young people often fly to the United States when choosing to study abroad," said Hartmut Krebs, vice-minister of Education, Science and Research, North Rhine-Westphalia, in an interview.

Krebs recently visited East China's Jiangsu Province, met Wang Min, vice-governor of Jiangsu, and signed a letter of understanding with the provincial government.

Both sides decided to improve their educational exchanges in three fields£º student exchanges, joint doctorate programmes and joint technological researches.

As a first step of the partnership, North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest German state, is sending all German-major graduates of Nanjing Foreign Language School to the best universities in Germany.

Many of these teenagers will be studying natural science and information technology in Germany.

According to Krebs, German institutions are keen for Chinese students to study chemical engineering, soft engineering, bioengineering, economics and information technology in Germany.

"In the past, it was almost impossible for these students to stay in Germany after graduation," said Krebs. "But we are changing the frameworks of our laws to make their stay easier."

"The adaptation in law is of mutual benefits," said Krebs. "These young scientists get their first experience in science and business in Germany and then return to China, while Germany also get the talents in urgent need in its restructuring process."

According to Krebs, the federal government of Germany, all the state governments, science institutions and universities in Germany launched a joint promotion campaign in June called "Campus Germany," aiming to attract students from China, India, East Europe and South America.

"In Europe, France is already very open to Chinese students, and we must also open our education system," said Krebs.

International courses are offered, of which English is the teaching language. The level of German language required has also been lowered.

A special foundation will be set up by the government of North Rhine-Westphalia for Chinese students, especially in favour of those from Jiangsu Province.

"Jiangsu and North Rhine-Westphalia are friendship provinces," said Wang Min. "The exchange with Germany will facilitate the research and education in Jiangsu."

People's Daily Online ---