Sino-Foreign Cooperative University Presidents Forum at Nottingham-Ningbo

On April 24th, the 2nd Council Meeting of Sino-Foreign Cooperative University Union & Sino-Foreign Cooperative University Presidents Forum 2015 took place at The University of Nottingham-Ningbo, China (UNNC). Mr. Frank Wang (Wang Beijiao), Chair of WKU University Council, Mr. Philip Connelly, Executive Vice President for Operations of Kean University, and Dr. Holger Henke, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of WKU attended the forum.

Officials from the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education and seven Sino-foreign cooperative universities with independent legal person status and several other educational institutions without legal person status participated in the forum. Mr. Zhang Minghua, Vice Mayor of Ningbo municipal government, Mr. Yu Yongming, Vice-Director of Zhejiang education department, and Mr. Ceng Jianyun, Director General of Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education shared their views with regard to the development and introduction of foreign educational resources and their influence on China’s higher-education reform.

Mr. Yang Jiafu, President of UNNC and other representatives of other universities discussed issues concerning the important role of liberal arts education and the cultivation of a globally-aware labor-force and the bottlenecks restricting their development.

At the meeting, Mr. Frank Wang, Chair of the University Council gave a speech entitled “Exploit the Advantages of Sino-Foreign Cooperative Education and Explore a Mode of Talent-Training which Serves Local Development.” Mentioning the cultivation of student skills and knowledge, Mr. Wang said, “Wenzhou-Kean University dedicates itself to providing students with different ways of development and merging Chinese and American teaching methodologies, to produce innovative, creative and entrepreneurial students with a global awareness, as well as knowledge of international rules and conventions.”

He added that WKU has been utilizing the resource advantage of Sino-foreign education and explored ways of reforming the cultivation of the labor-force by: adhering to the principle of student-centered education with a long-term perspective; putting the priority on teaching while the administrative team is to provide service; promoting the idea of self-directed learning, which all the faculty and staff members shall be involved in; adhering to comprehensive and multiple ways to evaluate students.

Mr. Wang noted that a Sino-foreign University should focus on local needs by combining international education resources and utilizing its geographical advantage to advance development. The university itself should play its due role, by “repaying” the local economy through its assistance to social development.