Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education Held at Air University, Islamabad

Islamabad, July 17: The first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education was held at Air University, Islamabad, to boost greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) which has added new momentum to the time-tested China Pakistan cooperative partnership.

Education experts, scholars,researchers, policy makers and students from China and Pakistan attended the forum, jointly organized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and China Association of Higher Education. 

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The forum started with a welcome note from the Vice Chancellor, Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by Lt. Gen. (R) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant CPEC at HEC.

Speaking at the forum Ms.Xiaomei Wang,the leader of the Chinese educational delegation, highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of China and Pakistan. She also the policy makers to boost academic exchanges and joint research projects between between Higher Education bodies of the two countries for scientific collaboration in various areas.

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Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Highlighting the educational opportunities under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) in his inaugural address,Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said “CPEC means Pakistan’s entry into the global supply chain,”.

 Ahsan Iqbal further said that the current government is fully supportive of higher education commission aimed at capacity building of existing HEIs ( higher education institutes) to prepare suitable human resource for CPEC and promote cultural harmony between the two countries.

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Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

He also appreciated the efforts of the Higher Education Commission for building CPEC University Alliance and CPEC Consortium of Business Schools. “These efforts will help build collaborative linkages and intellectual connectivity which symbolize the spirit of CPEC,” he said. The minister welcomed the Chinese Scholars to Pakistan which he hoped will explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

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Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Earlier, in his address, the Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized in not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The Forum focused on three areas: National Role and Contribution in Improving Quality of Higher Education; Ensuring Quality with Large-scale Increase in Access; and Balancing Quality of Higher Education in Diverse Regions. 

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Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

The one-day forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” was also addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries, and attended by a large number of educationists and students.

By Muhammad Arif

BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Born on the Java island of Indonesia, Hendy Yuniarto used to be surrounded by seas and mountains, even active volcanoes. He never imagined that one day he would live in a dry and cold place such as Beijing.

However, this became a reality after he graduated from Indonesia's Gadjah Mada University with a master's degree in linguistics and cultural science.

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After working as a lecturer and a journalist for a local newspaper for a couple of years, Yuniarto joined an education exchange program between China and Indonesia, and got a job opportunity to move to China to teach Indonesian culture and language at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) in 2015.

"I want to make my students and Chinese people know my country more, not just Bali island," Yuniarto said, laughing.

"I also want to learn Chinese," he said. "China has such a rich culture as well as a long history."

Meanwhile, Myat Thiri, a young biotechnology scientist from Myanmar's former Science and Technology Ministry, got the chance to come to China under the Talented Young Scientist Program (TYSP) of China's Science and Technology Ministry.

Thiri joined the bioremediation research team of Professor Yang Yunan from China's Beihang University from October 2015 to April 2017, and conducted many ecological inspections, pollution source investigations, and microorganism experiments.

"My specific scientific job was to find the relationship between the outbreak of isopods and mangroves dying-off. I enjoyed my job and have learned a lot from my Chinese colleagues," Thiri said.

"After working and studying together for 18 months, we have a lot of happy memories," said Yang, Thiri's mentor, adding "We also found that Thiri has many good qualities for us to learn from."

"For example, from July 2016 to February 2017, we conducted ecological investigation and sampling at the mangrove natural reserve area at Hainan's Dongzhai Port three times. Under harsh conditions such as heat, sunburn and muddiness, Thiri always worked hard and with pleasure. She was also very helpful to others and willing to share her expertise and experiences with others," Yang said.

Yuniarto's life as a teacher in Beijing also suits him well. While he is teaching, Yuniarto likes to combine Indonesian culture with language. He wants his students to learn his mother tongue in the context of Indonesian culture and history.

"I enjoy what I am doing very much because I feel proud to introduce my country to my students," the young man said.


Yuniarto also very much enjoys his leisure time in Beijing. He loves visiting Beijing's historical places, such as the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the hutongs and the Forbidden City.

He also loves Chinese movies, especially Kungfu films. "I am a big fan of Jackie Chan!" he said.

To fully understand Chinese culture and history, Yuniarto joins in all sorts of traditional Chinese festivals, such as the Lantern Festival, the Tomb-Sweeping Day, and above all, the Spring Festival.

"Chinese culture influences people's daily lives in many activities, especially how they respect their parents and the elderly," he said.

Similarly, in her spare time, Thiri took tours in and around the city of Beijing and to Hainan Island in south China. "When I was young, I always wanted to see how huge the Great Wall of China is. I enjoyed the sceneries of China."


Currently working as a research officer at an environmental lab of the Biotechnology Research Department under Myanmar's Education Ministry in Yangon, Thiri thinks her work experience in China has helped her a lot in her current job.

"I can apply that knowledge in my research field," she said.

Cai Jianing, deputy director-general of the Department of International Cooperation under the Chinese Science and Technology Ministry, said that since the ministry initiated the TYSP in 2013, more than 200 young scientists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Egypt and other countries have come to China to participate in China's scientific research work, greatly promoting the exchanges of scientific and technological researchers among countries along the Belt and Road, and helping cultivate many international ringleaders in science and technology.

"Our next step is to further promote the scientific and technological exchanges between China and the countries along the Belt and Road, jointly establish experiment labs, enhance cooperation among science parks of Belt and Road countries, and speed up technology transfers," Cai said.

As for Yuniarto, he still wants to live a few more years in Beijing before returning to his home country.

"My current Chinese level is only intermediate, so my future plan is to continue my studies here in China, especially for a Ph.D. program in Chinese culture," he said."Then I will come back to my country, and teach Indonesian students and people Chinese language and culture."

In the past few years, China has been expanding educational cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road, with many foreign scholars and students like Yuniarto participating in it.

Statistics showed that till this April, China has signed 45 bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements with Belt and Road countries, and signed mutual recognition agreements on academic degree and diploma with 24 Belt and Road countries.

Tian Xuejun, vice minister of the Chinese Education Ministry, said that during the process of "heart to heart connection" among the people in Belt and Road countries, education serves as a glue, a catalyst, and a lubricant.

"Education is a fundamental subject and has a characteristic of nourishing all softly," Tian said. "That's why educational exchange is getting increasingly important."

The ratio of Chinese workers with a plan for further education is double that of workers in the United States, a survey by U.S.-based networking website LinkedIn has found.

As many as 98 percent of Chinese workers said they aspire to take educational programs, either degree programs or skills courses, according to a report published on Thursday.

A 2015 LinkedIn survey of workers in the U.S. found only 49 percent wanted more education.

Among the workers who intend to pursue advanced studies, 65 percent of Chinese respondents said they will carry out the plan within one year, compared with 51 percent of the U.S. respondents who wanted more.

Nearly half of the Chinese workers who desire further education said they will spend more than 100,000 yuan (US$14,700) to follow through. It takes an average of 100 days from having such an idea to paying the tuition, according to the survey.

More than 500 people took the online survey, which was conducted by LinkedIn in January.

The top three reasons given by Chinese workers for adding to their education were to improve their professional skills, make themselves more competitive and enrich their life experience.

Only 21 percent of Chinese respondents said they wanted further education to get a higher salary, which was the top choice-ticked by 54 percent of the respondents globally, according to a LinkedIn survey two years ago.

"Chinese workers, especially the middle-aged ones who have reached a certain point in their career paths, show incredible passion for further education. They have a strong consciousness of crisis and want to have more control of their career development," said Zhou Xiaodan, head of marketing solutions for LinkedIn China.

The survey also found that 4 in 10 Chinese workers preferred online education to a traditional classroom when considering programs for a career boost.

Among those who favored online education, 85 percent said it is more flexible and 64 percent said it doesn't require them to stop working.

Nearly 70 percent of women wanted to take language courses online, and 60 percent of men aimed to pick up skill training, according to the survey.

Experts believe that as technology in big data and video transmission continues to advance, the online education market will continue to boom.

Twenty percent annual growth has been seen in the online education market on the Chinese mainland since 2013, when the market size was nearly 84 billion yuan, according to local consultancy iResearch. It is expected to break 200 billion yuan in 2018.

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HANOI, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Studying Chinese, the world's most spoken language, has helped enrich knowledge and brighten the career paths of more and more Vietnamese people, local experts, lecturers and students told Xinhua here on Thursday.

"I'm keen on becoming a highly-qualified lecturer of Chinese to help my students better understand the language and the country, as well as acquire the most suitable jobs," said Nguyen Le Cam Tu, the top prize winner of the 16th "Chinese Bridge," the Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students which was held in northern Vietnam on Thursday.

At the competition themed "Dreams Enlighten the Future," held by the Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, Tu, a third-year student at the Hanoi University, outperformed 11 other finalists from nine universities in terms of her language, presentation and comedy acting skills, and knowledge of Chinese economics, politics, society and culture.

"After graduating, I want to pursue higher education at the Beijing Normal University," the graceful looking girl from Hanoi said, adding that she is keen as mustard to explore the diversified beauty of China's age-old culture, including literature, martial arts and feature films.

Despite spending a lot of time studying Chinese since she was a high school student, Tu manages to find time for many hobbies. "I like Chinese wuxia (martial heroes) novels and movies. So I want to visit (southwest China's) Sichuan Province to see Mount Emei with my own eyes, to have better understanding of the Emei Sect. I am also interested in Wudang Kungfu," she said, breaking into a warm smile.

One of her fans, an audience member in the university's meeting hall which was packed like sardines, Nguyen Van Trong, a third-year student of Chinese, said he is also fond of reading wuxia novels by Jin Yong and adapted to TV series programs like "The Return of the Condor Heroes" with the main characters played by Liu Yifei and Huang Xiaoming.

"Having a good command of Chinese helps widen my eyes to see the bigger pictures of cinema, literature, calligraphy and martial arts," Trong said, adding that at his university there are extra classes teaching Chinese martial arts, including Yong Chun and Taiji.

Nguyen Vinh Quang, one of the competition's judges, shared a similar view, saying that the Chinese language in general, the competition in particular, is a bridge to friendship which helps promote understanding between two peoples and long-term training of youths, which contributes to Vietnam-China relations.

"There are increasingly larger numbers of Vietnamese people studying Chinese, especially since the two countries normalized their ties. Now, some 13,000 Vietnamese students are studying in China," stated Quang, vice chairman of the Vietnam-China Friendship Association.

Meanwhile, China has sent more and more students to Vietnam to study Vietnamese, creating more chances for lecturers and learners from the two countries to make friends with one another and beef up cultural exchanges, he said.

Nguyen Thi Cuc Phuong, vice rector of the Hanoi University and president of the university's Confucius Institute, echoed Quang's statements. Studying Chinese in general and attending relevant competitions in particular offer lecturers and students opportunities to exchange experiences and make connections after the events, she said, noting that human resources prioritizing those who have a good command of Chinese is on the rise in Vietnam.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, lecturer at the Hanoi University's Chinese Department, said many agencies and firms have asked for her help in finding potential employees for them, not only graduates but also four-year students. "I am a voluntary recruiter now," the young lecturer smiled.

According to Huyen, the Chinese Department currently has more than 30 lecturers, with two-thirds of them being doctorate degree holders, the highest rate among faculties of the Hanoi University, and trains some 800 students.

"In the future, our department will expand its training scope to new fields such as trade and tourism. Investment and trade ties between Vietnam and China are becoming closer and closer, so manpower demand for those who master Chinese is increasing," the lecturer said, adding that people-to-people exchanges between the two nations are also a huge positive.

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