Deepening educational ties between the world’s strongest economies was on the agenda at the G20 summit held in Hangzhou, in the Chinese province of Zhejiang this week.
With its dominance of globally mobile students, its increasing attraction as a study destination itself and as the host of this year’s summit, China especially was a sought after partner for educational and cultural links.
Meanwhile British Prime Minister Theresa May announced at the event that she would reject a points-based immigration system similar to Australia’s.
In a comment piece for China.org.cn just before the summit, Tom Zwart, professor of cross-cultural law and human rights, at Utrecht University, said the presence of Peking and Tsinghua universities in the rankings is an example of the improving quality at Chinese universities.
“It exemplifies the high quality teaching and the path-breaking research which nowadays characterise China’s leading universities. Western academics such as myself, who serve as visiting professors and foreign experts at Chinese universities, are privileged to be part of this exciting development.”
China is boasting mass higher education, Zwart wrote, with more than 15% of college-aged students enroled in universities. In order for innovation to be sustainable, strong investments in education and university research are required, he added.
Opening the event themed “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”, China’s president, Xi Jinping, said, “This year we have agreed on the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth.
And we have made the unanimous decision to break a new path and expand new frontier for world economics through innovation, structural reform, new industrial revolution and the development of the digital economy.”
Mexico is one country looking east to China, with the country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, referring to China as a global economic power, asserting their priority is to “strengthen bilateral relations” with the country.
“Education and culture have helped to enrich mutual understanding and reinforce the friendship of the two nations that both enjoy millennial cultures,” Peña Nieto added, referring to the success of cultural exchange between the two countries.
Furthermore, in the G20 summit report, Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, said that relations between Argentina and China “enjoy a sound momentum and huge development potential”.
“Argentina hopes both sides will expand exchanges and cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, finance, tourism, sports and people-to-people and cultural exchanges and is willing to provide more convenience in visa issuance for Chinese citizens,” he said.
Meanwhile, this G20 summit was the first for recently appointed UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Speaking from the summit, May announced that she will reject the plan for the UK’s immigration system to be points-based.
“A lot of people talk about a points-based system as always being the answer in immigration,” she said. “There is no single silver bullet that is the answer in terms of dealing with immigration.”
The efforts by the Chinese government to boost the international standing of the country’s universities has had tangible results.
Just last month, the latest Shanghai rankings put China in the top 100 universities for the first time. - thepienews
22 Apr 2016
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