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March 30, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Higher ed thinks globally

SHANGHAI plans to improve its higher education resources to attract more foreign students, and to spend more for college students to study overseas.

The goal is for the percentage of overseas students in local colleges to grow to 15 percent in 2020, compared with 5.9 percent in 2008, according to the city's 10-year education development outline.

The draft of the Shanghai Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) was published yesterday for public opinions.

To some observers, the goal for bringing in foreign students seems too ambitious.

"The draft has lot of highlights, but it doesn't put forward a feasible approach to realize these highlights," said Xiong Bingqi, vice president of 21st Century Education Research Institute.

"It's hard to achieve the 15-percent goal, judging from the current situation," he said.

According to the draft, the city government will subsidize 2 percent of local college and university students with a study tour or internship experience abroad every year.

"Education should equip students with the abilities of international communication, understanding, cooperation and competition," said Xue Mingyang, director of Shanghai Education Commission.

To attract more overseas students, the authorities aim to develop a city-level course database and a credit transfer system.

"The mutual recognition for credits among local schools will allow overseas students to enjoy the best education resources in the city," said Yang Weiren, a commission official.

With the credit transfer system, a foreign student at Fudan University could choose to learn pedagogy at East China Normal University, which has a strong reputation in the subject, according to Yang.


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