Since 1978 when China inaugurated the opening and reform initiative, international communication and cooperation in the education sector has migrated onto a new stage cheering healthy development of abroad studying, increasing number of foreigners studying in China, and expanding cross-border academic communication. International communication and cooperation has brought us with beneficial reference, impelled education reform and development in China and enhanced the mutual understanding and friendship between China and other countries.
In more than two decades since 1979, China sent some 320,000 students to more than 100 countries and regions, hosted 340,000 students from more than 160 countries and regions; dispatched out 1,800 teachers and experts, appointed 40,000 foreign experts and teachers. Number of Chinese experts and academicians once involved in international conferences held abroad and that of foreign experts and academicians once presenting at international academic symposiums held in China both amounted to 11,000.
In 1996 only, China sent out more than 10,000 students to nearly 100 countries and regions and entertained nearly 33,000 international students from 160 countries and regions. In order to help partner countries to bring up culture-indifferent, sci-tech and translation professionals, China configured teachers for Chinese language programs launched in more than 30 countries, and gave mission orders to more than 5,000 experts destined to short-term teaching programs launched in different countries. On the other hand, colleges and universities in the country extended appointment letters to some 3,760 foreign-originated experts and teachers. In the year, colleges and universities directly under the Ministry of Education approved 2,099 application cases for involvement in some 1,316 international academic symposiums held abroad. Nearly 140 international academic symposiums and seminars hosted by colleges and universities in China welcomed in some 5,000 participants from foreign countries.
Educational Exchanges between China and Countries in America and Oceania
The American and Oceanian area is always one of the priority areas for China's international exchanges and cooperation in education sector. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, especially after China's adoption of the reform and open-up policies, friendly ties between China and most countries in the American and Oceanian area have been strengthened steadily, and the scale of educational exchange and cooperation has been widening day by day.
Bilateral Government Education Agreements
Currently, the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) has signed exchange and cooperation agreements or memorandums of understanding in the field of education with governments of the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand and the provinces of Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta of Canada; established regular Join Working Group Consultation Mechanism for educational exchanges at ministerial-level with New Zealand and Australia. In October 2003,the Arrangement on Higher Education Qualifications Recognition between the Government of the P. R. China and the Government of Australia and the Arrangement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher Education between the Ministry of Education of the P. R. China and the Ministry of Education of New Zealand were signed. The MOE has also signed educational exchange agreements with the Ministries of Education of Fiji and Republic of the Marshal Island. In Latin America, the Chinese Government has signed cultural and/or educational exchange agreements with 15 countries. In accordance with these agreements or memorandums, China has been conducting extensive exchanges with these countries in forms of exchange of educational delegations, international students, scholarly visits and educational resources; establishing institutional links, teaching each other's languages, cooperatively running schools and joint researches.
Government Cooperative Projects
Government cooperative projects administered and coordinated by DAOA include:
1.The Australia-China (Chongqing) Vocational Education and Training Project (ACCVETP);
2.The China-Canadian Strengthening Capacity in Basic Education in Western China Program (SCBEWC);
3.The China-U.S. Fulbright Program;
4.The U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers program;
5.The China-U.S. E-Language Learning System;
6.The China-Canada Scholar Exchange Program (CCSEP);
7.The Australia Asia Award; and
8.The China-New Zealand NZAID Scholarship.
Under the guidance of the government agreement framework, institutions of higher learning in China have been conducting a variety of exchanges and cooperation with their counterparts in the American and Oceanian area, and the contents of cooperation have evolved from general academic exchange activities in the past to concrete exchanges such as cooperatively running schools. The American and Oceanian area is endowed with a large number of first-class education resources. Amongst the 137 cooperatively-run programs that confer foreign degrees approved by the Office of Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council, 89 involve foreign partners from the American and Oceanian area, accounting for 65% of the total.
Cooperation with Multinational Companies
Through the active guidance, organization and coordination of the MOE, internationally renowned multinationals such as IBM, SUN, Intel, CISCO, Motorola, Lucent, Texas Instrument, in the American and Oceanian area have been supporting the teaching and research in many Chinese schools and universities through donation of money, equipments, software and textbooks. By the end of 2003, donation made by these companies reached 2.6 billion RMB Yuan.
Exchange of Students
Countries in the American and Oceanian area such as the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the major destinations for Chinese citizens to study abroad. At present, according to incomplete statistics, the numbers of Chinese students studying in those countries, regardless of the nature and form of their study, are as follows: over 200,000 in the U.S., some 35,000 in Canada, around 35,000 in Australia, and nearly 40,000 in New Zealand. The majority of these Chinese students are on their own expenses. In recent years, the number of foreign students from this area coming to study in China has seen extensive growth.
Education Cooperation with European Countries
The Chinese government always attaches great importance to education cooperation and exchanges with European and GUS countries as well as the European Union as an independent entity. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, this area has witnessed the most vigorous development of China's international education cooperation and exchanges. With unstinting support from the governments, the scale and scope of cooperation and exchanges has been significantly expanded and remarkable achievements have been scored.
So far, China has established education cooperation and exchanges with 41 countries in this area as well as the European Union. It has signed education agreements with 23 countries within this area. In addition, agreements on mutual recognition of academic degrees with eight East European and GUS countries have been endorsed.
In April 2002 and February 2004, the Chinese government signed Agreement on Equivalence of Academic Degrees in Higher Education with the government of Germany and Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher Education with the government of UK respectively. Currently, China is actively pushing forward the progress of mutual recognition of academic degrees with other European Countries. Besides tradition forms of cooperation such as the exchange of students, cooperative research among scholars, mutual exchange of delegations, international conferences and the exchange of education materials, future cooperation with European countries will be mainly carried out in the form of cooperative programs.
The Cooperation and Exchanges with the Asian & African Countries
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the cooperation and exchanges with the Asian & African countries in the filed of education. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the friendship between China and countries in Asia & Africa has been developed remarkably. The scale and scope of the cooperation and exchanges in the field of education have been enlarged increasingly. So far, the educational agreements have been signed between China and more than 40 Asian & African countries, including Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya. Mutual visits of delegations, exchanges of students and scholars, inter-institutional collaboration, the exchange of teaching materials and cooperation in language teaching and academic research have all witness remarkable expansion.
The Division of Asian & African Affairs is responsible for organizing and coordinating the bilateral cooperation and exchanges with the Asian & African countries. It takes the lead in drawing up, negotiating about, signing and implementing the bilateral educational agreements with the Asian & African countries; organizing, implementing, managing and coordinating the governmental cooperative projects; receiving governmental senior delegations from Asian & African countries and sending Chinese governmental delegations to Asian & African countries. In addition, it also assumes the responsibility of seeking the endowments and donations from governments, institutes and individuals from Asian & African countries. At present, the major ongoing cooperative projects between China with countries in Asian & African include the teacher exchange program with Japan and South Korea, the teenager exchange program with Japan, the cooperative project with Japan Society for Promotion of Science, the cooperative project with African countries, and the cooperative project with Industrial Vocational Institute, Yemen Sana'a.
(Source: Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China)