Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Thursday, January 03 2019 - 14:07
Zhejiang University Defining a New Era for International Education
HANGZHOU, China, Jan. 3, 2019 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

The consensus is unequivocal. Javid, Maddelena and Xihang Wu are effusing about 
their experiences of student life at Zhejiang University's hugely impressive 
Haining International Campus, which was opened in 2016 and is setting a 
revolutionary new template for modern academia.

"It is unique here," says 23-year-old Javid, who is from Azerbaijan and in his 
second year of a Master's in China Study. "Everything was taken into 
consideration when they made this international campus; the facilities are 
really modern and designed in a way that supports our academic and social life. 
People from anywhere in the world can feel at home here."

The students reference a huge library, a gym, a music room, reading rooms and a 
growing extracurricular network as they discuss the merits of their 
environment, and Maddelena, who has studied Chinese language and culture and is 
an exchange student from Italy, asserts "it is very easy to live here, 
everything has been provided".

Conversation turns to their education and the praise is ratcheted up a notch. 
"I'm Chinese and I came here to one of the top-ranked universities in the 
country because of the double degree award programs," reveals Xihang. "I always 
believe that if you challenge yourself more you will get more opportunities. 
This campus has given me many opportunities. I feel we are given the chance to 
chase our dreams here, and maybe become the leaders of the future."

Maddelena adds that she feels more challenged than ever before. "Here we are 
engaged in more discussions and we read many different scholars' opinions. It 
gives me the ability to engage in a wider debate and to support my ideas -- it 
is also preparing me for life outside of university."

Ground-breaking partnerships between Zhejiang and some of the world's top 
universities are helping to make Zhejiang University one of the most attractive 
universities in China for global education talents in China. The international 
campus is host to Zhejiang University-University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 
Institute and Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute.

"What we offer students here is unique; the courses, the education and the 
residential college. This is a whole new education model, the collaboration 
between top universities and internationalisation. We are bringing new ideas 
together from different cultures in our partnership," says Er'ping Li, Dean of 
ZJU-UIUC Institute. 

"Our collaboration is a two-university partnership for undergraduate and 
graduates. Undergraduates can attain two degrees -- one from ZJU and one from 
UoI. We have jointly developed new educational programs and models, so we have 
courses here that are unique to this partnership. The future is challenging, it 
doesn't work just to solve a problem in one area, you have to understand more 
than one area to really solve a problem. So, the students follow a 
multi-disciplinary program, instead of a single pathway. We are training the 
students for future requirements."

Students at Zhejiang University are also likely to find they could benefit from 
China's economic strength and appetite for innovation, according to Professor 
Susan Welburn, Executive Dean of Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh 

"If you want a good quality education in a safe, vibrant environment, and 
especially if you want to be an innovator, then China is a really interesting 
place to come," she says. "There are city deals everywhere in China, so if you 
do have a good idea in your final year or your post-graduate education then 
there is money available for you to take that idea and work with that 
innovative concept. That is very attractive for a large proportion of the 
students who come here, and we aim to be an incubator for developing the 
evolution of young people."

Reflecting on the opportunities offered at Zhejiang University, Professor 
Welburn said, "If I had the chance now, I would study here! Being able to study 
at two of the best universities in the world and being able to have an 
immersive experience in a different culture while you are studying, I think 
that is an incredible opportunity for both sides -- for the students who want 
to come here and engage in an international setting and also for international 
students who want to come out with a 4-year degree and an immersive experience 
in China with fluency in mandarin. What is not to like? And if you want to be a 
player in global innovation and research, you can't ignore the rise of China."

SOURCE: Zhejiang University

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