China-UK dual de­grees made more ob­tain­able

Joint pro­grams in­volv­ing 12 top-tier uni­ver­si­ties to give stu­dents com­pet­i­tive edge in job mar­ket

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By HE WEI in Shang­hai hewei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese stu­dents will have bet­ter chances of ob­tain­ing top-notch dual China-UK de­grees — and at a lower cost — thanks to an ini­tia­tive ad­vanc­ing stu­dent mo­bil­ity and ed­u­ca­tional ex­changes be­tween the coun­tries.

The China-UK As­so­ci­a­tion for the Hu­man­i­ties in Higher Ed­u­ca­tion joined forces with 12 top-tier uni­ver­si­ties to strengthen aca­demic ties and pro­mote peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes.

“We should take full ad­van­tage of the ‘clus­ter com­pe­tency’ of the al­liance to forge a mul­ti­lat­eral aca­demic col­lab­o­ra­tion model,” said Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Chen Baosheng, who wit­nessed the for­ma­tion of the al­liance in Shang­hai.

Chen said the col­lab­o­ra­tion strives to help schools at­tract tal­ented in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, and im­prove global vis­i­bil­ity and pres­tige.

The top schools in­clude Ts­inghua Univer­sity, Peking Univer­sity, Ox­ford Univer­sity, London School of Eco­nom­ics and the Univer­sity of Cam­bridge’s Need­ham Re­search In­sti­tute.

In ad­di­tion to joint re­search projects and fo­rums, uni­ver­si­ties will of­fer teach­ing and re­search ac­tiv­i­ties com­pris­ing dou­ble de­gree pro­grams, sum­mer schools and re­search trips for prospec­tive stu­dents.

The Young Scholar Fo­rum serves as the core cul­tural and aca­demic ex­change av­enue for the as­so­ci­a­tion, while the Young Tal­ent Pro­gram is set up to en­cour­age stu­dents to tap into in­no­va­tive projects and star­tups.

Among the lat­est ef­fort is the LSE-Fu­dan In­sti­tute for Global Pub­lic Pol­icy, a school pre­par­ing fu­ture lead­ers, and con­tribut­ing to global gover­nance and pub­lic af­fairs. The dou­ble-de­gree pro­gram to be rolled out next year will fea­ture cross-dis­ci­plinary teach- ing and re­cruit mas­ter stu­dents from China and abroad.

“With China mak­ing strides on the in­ter­na­tional stage, we see press­ing needs for tal­ented peo­ple who will be able to prop­erly present our stances in global are­nas such as in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. That, in part, pro­pels us to es­tab­lish this joint pro­gram,” said Jing Yi­jia, vice-di­rec­tor of for­eign af­fairs at Fu­dan Univer­sity and a pro­fes­sor at the School of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Pub­lic Af­fairs.

A col­lec­tion of schol­ar­ships are up for grabs for stu­dents to relieve their fi­nan­cial bur­dens, Jing said. The school is also mulling the pos­si­bil­ity of of­fer­ing stu­dents the op­tion to take all cour­ses in China, but still be able to get two de­grees, which would fur­ther trim tu­ition fees and liv­ing ex­penses.

“We fore­see a grow­ing num­ber of lead­ing dual-de­gree pro­grams be­tween China and UK uni­ver­si­ties,” he added.

“I man­aged to ac­cess re­search op­por­tu­ni­ties at two in­sti­tu­tions and di­ver­sify my ed­u­ca­tion,” said Che Rui, a re­cent grad­u­ate with a dual mas­ter’s de­gree in global me­dia and com­mu­ni­ca­tions from Fu­dan and LSE, a pre­de­ces­sor pro­gram that dates back to 2007.

Che, who now works for a renowned se­cu­ri­ties bro­ker in Shang­hai, said the dou­ble de­gree gives him a com­peti- tive edge in the job mar­ket.

With the aid of dual-de­gree pro­grams, schools can pool ed­u­ca­tional re­sources and use com­ple­men­tary teach­ing ex­per­tise to build study pro­grams that they oth­er­wise wouldn’t be able to of­fer, ac­cord­ing to Kather­ine Mor­ton, pro­fes­sor and chair of Chi­nese in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at the Univer­sity of Sh­effield.

“Many Chi­nese stu­dents come to study at our univer­sity each year, and I ex­pect the num­ber to grow. It’s highly im­por­tant that we have such a di­a­logue mech­a­nism, and we’ ll get more ex­change pro­grams up and run­ning,” she said.

China re­mains the largest source of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to the UK.

Ac­cord­ing to the British Coun­cil in June, more than one in five non-UK stu­dents and one in three non-EU stu­dents study­ing in the UK in 2014-15 were from China.

We should take full ad­van­tage of the ‘clus­ter com­pe­tency’ of the al­liance to forge a mul­ti­lat­eral aca­demic col­lab­o­ra­tion model.” Chen Baosheng Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion

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