China-UK scholastic exchanges from elementary schools to higher education have yielded fruitful results, Yuan Guiren, China’s minister of education, told People’s Daily.
Yuan said the results have exerted a positive influence and enhanced bilateral relations, highlighting four main points:
Cooperation on student exchange programs has expanded. The number of Chinese students studying in the UK surpassed 150,000 at the end of 2014.
Through their “Plan for Britain’s Future” program, the UK government will see 80,000 British students studying and interning in China from 2013 to 2020. The number of British students in China exceeded 6,000 in 2014.
Education exchanges have generated fruitful results, Yuan said. The two sides have engaged in basic education teacher exchanges since 2014, while the “Shadow Principal” project saw both sides exchanging secondary vocational school principals. Meanwhile, China and the UK have made strides in apprenticing programs and course development, said Yuan.
In addition, Yuan explains that China and the UK have cooperated in running joint programs, resulting in a total of 17 organizations and 240 education programs. Chinese universities are also opening new campuses in the UK. For example, Beijing Normal University joined Cardiff University in opening their BNU-CARDIFF program in September.
Yuan also noted out that language learning helps sustain development. The UK government announced its commitment to improving both the quantity and quality of Chinese language learning programs in the UK. The China Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing will also provide aid to local institutions.
Lastly, Yuan stressed the systematic refinement of education policy exchange. A ministerial consultation system was established between the two nations as early as 2004. In 2012, a high-level cultural exchange mechanism was established. In September of 2015, the two sides signed 24 agreements on education cooperation, Yuan said. (The Daily Mail – People’s Daily news exchange item)