GU may send 20% of the students for overseas exchanges by 2016[2012-3-22]
Guangzhou University is exploring new ways of enhancing international educational exchanges, aiming at sending 20% of the students abroad by 2016 and improving the level and scale of overseas students studying in Guangzhou University.
Recently, Professor Yu Jianshe, President of Guangzhou University, led the delegation of the major Universities of Guangdong for a 21-day visit to the United States. During the visit and training, President Yu Jianshe conducted a wide-scale study on the higher education in the US and pondered on the exchanges and cooperation between universities in China and the US, especially the exchanges and cooperation between Guangzhou University and American Universities, including the recognition of credits, etc. He further proposed principals of the internationalization of education of GU in the future, including further liberating the mind and move faster on the path of the internationalization of education of GU.
Confidence and Honesty is the highlight
Southern Daily: What is your impression on the higher education in the United States? What can Chinese universities learn from them?
Yu Jianshe: The scale, mode and level of higher education in the United States are world-class. There's a lot we can learn from. Beside the world-class facilities, faculty and course design, universities respect the individual interests of the students, encouraging innovation and emphasizing on confidence and honesty, which is a key to the success of US higher education. We should especially draw upon their experience in encouraging innovation and mutually-recognizing academic credits.
I also noticed that the all statesmen in the United States, from governors, senators to the President, are good public speakers, displaying grace and confidence in front of the public. It has to do with typical American education that always encourages kids and builds up their confidence, competiveness and independence. For example, whenever I visit an American family, I'd always see all kinds of awards and trophies for the kids decorating the house. Confidence, honesty and innovation are the key words in the American education.
Sending 20% of the students for educationalexchanges abroad in 4 years
Southern Daily: In the past two years, Chinese universities have accelerated international exchanges. As a university under the municipal government of Guangzhou, what’s your plan in this respect? How do you ensure more students to have access to the quality education overseas.
Yu Jianshe: The high-quality education in the US impressed me most in my recent trip. We should take urgent actions to provide more GU students the opportunities to experience a new education model in the developed countries, broadening their horizon and enriching their experiences. A lot of the students actually are keen to study abroad, and their families are able to afford that. Many countries provide good higher education, for instance, there are more than ten thousand universities in America, but they suffer from low enrollment. The same is with Canada. We can work with overseas universities to send more of our students overseas since we enjoy high enrollment. This is a mutually beneficial collaboration that provides new opportunities and better platform to broaden our students horizon.
At the same time, we're fully aware of the difficulties lying ahead. Our goal is to gradually increase the number of students sent abroad year by year. We shall try our best to send 20% of our students abroad for educational exchanges. This strategy shall be a huge incentive for the students. When the exchange students come back, they will also bring back the advanced ideas and skills, further inspiring other students, which is conducive to the academic atmosphere of our university.
Overseas students can stay at the teachers' homes
Southern Daily: International exchanges are two-way traffic. More overseas students will come to Guangzhou University, too. What is the advantage of Guangzhou University?
Yu Jianshe: In recent years, Guangzhou University have been working with over 20 universities from the US, Canada, Italy and the UK on exchange student programs. During my visit to the US, I also signed the agreement on student exchange programs with San Jose State University and College of Mount Saint Vincent. Guangzhou is a metropolitan with rich ancient culture. If overseas students come here, they will be able to enjoy the Chinese culture, especially the culture of South China, which is especially appealing to them.
I even have a bold plan in mind: we can arrange the home-stay for overseas students to stay in the homes of the teachers in GU. When Chinese students are studying abroad, they have the chances of staying in the local people's home, so they can adapt to the new environment very quickly. Why don't we arrange for home-stay families for the overseas students in GU as well? On the one hand, they can provide accommodation for the overseas students, and on the other hand, if the home-stay families have small children, it will be a good chance for them to learn a foreign language. To enhance cultural exchanges between students, overseas students can even be involved in the foreign language courses and the student union.
Written by: Gao Liangquan
Edited by: Ye Qing
Source: GU News (Chinese)