China and Italy Strengthen Education Ties

The Chinese Higher Education Day and China Education Expo, held at the 150 year old Politecnico di Milano University in Milan, is hosting 200 officials, educators and students. China and Italy already have strong education ties and swap a considerable number of students. This year there are over 4,000 Italian students studying at Chinese institutions while 13,000 Chinese students are broadening their education horizons in Italy.

Politecnico di Milano, one of the best technical universities in the world, launched a joint program with Tongji University of Shanghai a few years ago. The relationship with China is “very strategic”, Rector Giovanni Azzone said. At present, there are around 700 Chinese students in Politecnico di Milano.

“Our idea is to jointly create an educational system, in which the Chinese as well as the European and Italian methods can take advantage of diversities,” Azzone said.

As Chinese universities increase in worldwide reputation, the number of overseas attracted to studying there is expected to rise. CSC Secretary General Liu Jinghui estimates that by 2020 there could be 150,000 overseas students receiving their higher education in China.

If the number of overseas students who study in elementary and secondary schools is added then this could bring the total to half a million overseas students.

Giuliano Noci, vice rector for China and a marketing professor at Politecnico di Milano, stressed the role of “selectivity” and “quality of partners”.

“Chinese professionals are very much appreciated and needed by both Italian companies based in China and Chinese companies in Italy,” Noci said. One of the challenges, Noci stressed, will be making Chinese managers able to function like “bridges” between the two countries.

The event was co-organized by the hosting university and the China Scholarship Council (CSC). Last year the CSC offered scholarships to nearly 4,500 Chinese students to study in EU member countries and almost 2000 European students to study in China.

“China will support as always the cooperation and exchanges in education with Italy,” Chinese Vice Education Minister Du Yubo said Friday at the opening ceremony of the Chinese Higher Education Day and China Education Expo.

Wake Forest University has recently started offering Chinese students who wish to study in America a way to prove they’re ready for the experience. With the number of Chinese students applying to US universities soaring, admissions officers have been struggling to validate credentials of Chinese applicants. Wake Forest Advantage curriculum will provide proof of the legitimacy of each candidate bypassing concerns about fake transcripts, letters of recommendation and test scores.

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