More overseas universities, educational institutions seeking cooperation with China

By Chen Xi (Global Times) 14:30, April 15, 2024

Promotional material for the China Study Abroad Forum Photo: Courtesy of CSCSE

Promotional material for the China Study Abroad Forum. Photo: Courtesy of CSCSE

More overseas universities and educational institutions are seeking cooperation with China. At the China Study Abroad Forum in Beijing on Friday, officials and scholars from China and overseas pointed out that global education is facing challenges amid the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), and more cultural and educational exchanges are needed.

With a theme of "embracing challenges, creating a shared future for a new landscape of studying abroad," the forum is intended as a platform for discussion of the crucial role of cultural and educational exchanges.

Ren Youqun, a professor of Education at Shandong University, highlighted the widening gap in higher education due to the rapid proliferation of AI. He emphasized at the forum the imperative of redefining education through comprehensive digital transformation, as well as systemic reforms in teaching methodologies, institutional governance, and quality assurance mechanisms.

During the event, universities and educational institutions from Australia and Canada signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on further deepening education cooperation with Chinese educational institutions.

Wang Daquan, director of the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE), a public institution affiliated to China's Ministry of Education, reiterated the institution's commitment to fostering international collaboration and facilitating the global talent development agenda of higher education institutions.

He offered the example that the China-US youth innovation contest has attracted nearly 10,000 young people from China and the US, further solidifying the foundation of friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

Rebecca Needham, a political counsellor with the New Zealand Embassy in China, shared her experience of studying in China in the 1980s, and spoke of transformation through cross-cultural interactions as well as the pivotal role of education exchanges in bridging cultural divides.

In reaffirming the strong bilateral ties between China and New Zealand, she highlighted recent diplomatic engagements between the two nations, including visits by foreign ministers and trade officials.

Many experts told the Global Times that with China's growing national strength, more international students are showing interest in studying in China.

Cary Anderson, executive vice chancellor at Wenzhou-Kane University, outlined the university's efforts to attract students through diverse programs, emphasizing the value of experiential learning through interactions with Chinese businesses.

"Just last month, we had students who are MBA students come, and they did a couple of courses at our university and visited Chinese businesses. After the tour, they showed a strong interest and they want to come back," he told the Global Times.

Tim Hubbard, head of East Asia Recruitment and Partnerships at the University of East Anglia, expressed optimism about the renewed demand for studying in China, citing his own positive experiences. He emphasized the potential for students to leverage their skills gained in China to forge connections with their home countries, fostering greater global engagement.

"I have some very good friends, one from Argentina, one from Macedonia, one from the Czech Republic. And they're all back in their home countries now, working for organizations connected with China," he told the Global Times.

On Friday afternoon, an event themed "My Beautiful Encounter with China" was held, where outstanding international students shared their experiences through speeches, alongside the launch of an overseas social media competition promoting essays and short videos on the theme.

Wang said the seventh edition of the My Beautiful Encounter with China book and short video contest for international students studying in China garnered over 800 stories about China from students from more than 80 countries who came to study in China.

Rhett Miller, senior trade and investment commissioner for Greater China Trade and Investment, Queensland China Office, told the Global Times that as China continues to position itself as a hub for global education, partnerships forged through initiatives like the China Study Abroad Forum are poised to shape the future of education, fostering greater cross-cultural understanding and collaboration on a global scale.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Zhong Wenxing)


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