On March 11th , president Gan Xuechun attended activities marking the 14th “International Day” of Dali University, and delivered a keynote speech . The speech details are as follows:
Deepen the Opening-up of Higher Education of Yunnan Province to Boost “The Belt and Road Initiatives”
--- Keynote Speech at Chinese-Foreign University Presidents Forum
Prof/Dr. Gan Xuechun, President of Honghe University
Good morning (afternoon), Ladies and Gentlemen:
In the hopeful spring of 2016, we are lucky enough to be here to discuss internalization of higher education. My gratitude should go to Dali University, for hosting this great event--- the 14th “International Day”.
Dali University, by taking the regional advantage, has achieved marvelous developments in the field of international exchange and cooperation. Since the initiation of “International Day” in 2002, Dali University has been sticking to the philosophy of “forging university spirit by integrating different cultures”, and was offered honorable mention by Chinese Ministry of Education for its effective campus culture construction with international characteristics. “International Day” is one of the cultural events in Dali University, as well as an important platform of international exchange and cooperation for colleges and universities of Yunnan Province.
In my speech, I’d like to focus on how to deepen the opening-up of higher education of Yunnan Province under the background of “the Belt and Road Initiatives”.
I. “The Belt and Road Initiatives” brings new opportunities for the opening-up of higher education in Yunnan Province
“The Belt and Road Initiatives” impose positive effect on Yunnan Province and its neighboring countries as well. Due to the regional advantage, Yunnan Province plays the part of “window and bridge” for opening up to South and Southeast Asian countries. Yunnan Province will actively integrate into “the Belt and Road Initiatives”, and do everything possible to serve this national strategy in the coming years. We will enhance the level of opening up and cooperation in an all-round way, and build Yunnan Province into a radiation center to South and Southeast Asia.
Colleges and universities are responsible for training qualified high-level personnel, promoting cultural exchange, and serving the modernization drive. To deepen international exchange and cooperation of higher education in Yunnan Province, is not only an important part of the provincial development strategy, but also a crucial measure pushing forward further development of education industry. In the process of boosting “the Belt and Road Initiatives”, the colleges and universities should give full play to their regional advantage, and pursue bilateral and multilateral, government and non-government cooperation. We should deepen international exchange and cooperation of higher education, and insist on multiform, multilevel, and multidirectional opening-up, for the purpose of improving internationalization of higher education of our province.
II. The optimization of layout will boost the opening-up of higher education in Yunnan Province
When boosting opening-up of higher education, colleges and universities of different type, different category, and different location, should play an active role in accordance with their own orientation, objective and characteristics. By implementing “High Level Universities” project, we are expecting to set up a batch of regional high-level universities which are among the first rank of West China, and fully release their radiation effect to the education of South and Southeast Asia. By implementing “Bridgehead Universities” project among the colleges and universities in the cities and prefectures adjacent to other countries, we are expecting to set examples of “Bridgehead Universities”, and give full play to their “window and bridge” function in international educational exchange and cooperation. Based on the requirements of regional economy and social development, the vocational colleges have to expand the exchange and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, medical science, forestry, education, economy and trade, in an effort to bring up more students with international awareness to cater to regional economy and social development.
III. University alliance will enlarge the influence of internationalization of higher education in Yunnan Province
We should do our best to promote bilateral and multilateral university alliance, and set up exchange platforms oriented to South and Southeast Asia. We will deepen the cooperation between universities of Yunnan Province and higher institutions of South and Southeast Asia, in the field of personnel training, teacher developing, academic exchanging and resource sharing.
We should set up research institutes which focus on the research of particular country or region, and build exchange platforms for regional research. By taking the regional advantage of universities and research institutes in Yunnan, we will carry out research programs on the issues of politics, economy, culture, environment and social sciences. Emphasis should be put on cooperative system, consult performance, and policy making, in the field of interconnection, industry development, cultural exchange, investment, trade, resource and energy. All these researches aim to make Yunnan Province a well-known think tank on South and Southeast Asia research, and provide intelligent support for win-win cooperation.
We should implement two-way educational exchange like “Study at Yunnan” and “Study abroad in South and Southeast Asia”. By adhering to two-way exchange, we will send students to study abroad, and accept more foreign students in colleges and universities of Yunnan. We will strive to make Yunnan Province the first choice for the students in South and Southeast Asia when it comes to the question of studying abroad. At the same time, we will encourage the students of colleges and universities in Yunnan to study abroad in South and Southeast Asia.
The study of languages of South and Southeast Asian countries should be strengthened. We will map out an overall planning of languages setup, and encourage universities to teach languages which are in short supply, and optimize the structure of less commonly used languages. It is necessary to explore inter-discipline personnel training mode of “language + major”. At the same time, talents majoring in less commonly used languages are encouraged to study abroad with governmental fund support, for the purpose of training more high-level personnel who are skilled in languages of South and Southeast Asian countries.
IV. Diversified projects of internationalization of higher education will promote the level of university management
Foreign qualified resources should be introduced, and Sino-foreign cooperative education should be strengthened. By intensifying the management of cooperative education and completing quality guarantee system, the teaching quality can be enhanced. A sharing mechanism is to be set up to spread the successful experience of cooperative education, and a batch of model universities and projects will be built in line with Sino-foreign cooperative education.
We should strengthen comprehensive planning, and encourage colleges and universities to set up overseas branch campus. Based on their advantages, colleges and universities in Yunnan Province should explore different modes of educational cooperation. It is suggested that provincial government and city government introduce policies to encourage enterprise participation, so as to explore the new mode of “enterprise + university” education. Overseas branch campus, training school, resource center, and characteristic subjects can be set up in neighboring countries, and more funds should be put to enhance education quality.
Confucius institutes should be operated smoothly to promote culture exchange. With government support, universities are encouraged to establish Confucius institute in other countries, to fulfill international promotion of Chinese.
We should boost the internationalization process of vocational education, and explore new ways of educational cooperation with foreign vocational educational institutes and professional certification authorities. International training programs must be introduced, and new training mode of human resource must be studied.
V. The performance of action plan for the provincial higher education will involve more development opportunities
We should deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation in higher educational sector. Plans and exchange programs will be designed for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and on the basis of mutual benefit between Yunnan Province and South and Southeast Asia. Colleges and universities in Yunnan should establish close relationship with international organizations, and be actively involved in the cooperation and exchange of higher education, boosting deeper education cooperation with friendly cities and friendly universities.
We should enhance higher education connection with South and Southeast Asian countries. We will actively establish relationship with foreign universities and education authorities, by resorting to the help of consulates in Kunming or China’s consulates in other countries. We suggest scholarships be set up by governments at all levels, with the name “Silk Road Scholarship”, “Neighboring Country Scholarship”, and “Friendly City Scholarship” etc.. In the mean time, we are to encourage China’s enterprises to participate in the educational internationalization, and set up scholarship to assistant foreign students to pursue their study in Yunnan Province. Our final goal is to promote the friendly relationship with neighboring countries, and manifest the distinctive open characteristics of Yunnan Province.
We should promote culture exchange with neighboring countries, and promote friendship and understanding with their people. We will establish some platforms to meet the need of both sides, for negotiation of university leaders, for practical cooperation of professional personnel, for exchange of teachers and students. Presidents of universities and experts of South and Southeast Asian countries are to be invited for forums, such as “Higher Education Cooperation for South and Southeast Asian Countries”, to enhance culture exchange.
We should quicken the construction of high-level teaching staff. Excellent young teachers and academic leaders will be chosen and sent to study abroad for degrees, or to carry out cooperative researches. The overall quality and cooperative ability of teachers will be elevated, and more foreign teachers will be hired.
The opening-up of education of Yunnan depends much on colleges and universities, who must be fully aware of their duty and responsibility. Being one of the university presidents, I’d like to make the following suggestions:
We should fully realize the current domestic and international situations, and correctly comprehend the development orientation of our province, and seek supports from all parties through working out schemes, identifying characteristics, grasping opportunities, and broadening our minds. We should be fully aware of what is our advantage, and where is our way out. We should map out the development strategy, define the development goal, and nail down the specific action plan in the internationalization drive. Apart from perfect organizations and sufficient funds, it is also very important for us to employ a number of innovative teachers and supporting staff, who are not only devoted but also well informed of international rules and with broad horizons.
In Honghe University, we have done some exploration and practice to deepen opening-up of higher education in recent years. We teach languages of five GMS countries covering Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and Thailand. We have set up some exchange platforms such as “Sino-Vietnam Forum on Social Development”, “Presidents Forum of Universities along Honghe River Basin”, “Sino-Vietnam Culture & Sports Gala”, and “Sino-Vietnam University Alliance 10+10”. Moreover, a Confucius institute in Sri Lanka is run by Honghe University, in partnership with Colombo University and Beijing Studies University, a teaching venue in Thai Nguyen University of Vietnam was set up years ago, and some international research programs have been carried out by our university. I’m more than happy to invite you to Honghe University, for exchanging and guiding.
My dear colleagues and friends, let’s work together to push forward the great cause of opening-up of higher education, by strengthening exchanges and deepening cooperation.
To conclude, I wish a complete success for the 14th “International Day” of Dali University.