Editor’s Notes: In the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping stressed invigorating China through science and education and developing a strong workforce for the modernization drive. It is highlighted that education, science and technology, and human resources are the foundational and strategic pillars for building a modern socialist country in all respects.
Chongqing – China has attached great importance to education and put it in a strategic position for the prior development in this decade. The state’s annual financial expenditure on education accounts for over 4% of GDP for ten consecutive years, which has brought tremendous change. Professor Rami Khalil from Sichuan International Studies University shares his insights on China’s development in education with iChongqing.
“What makes China unique is the high priority and importance that the Chinese government gives to education and research sectors.” Professor Rami said. As an educator in China for over a decade, he has witnessed remarkable progress in Chinese education. In terms of education infrastructure, “It’s noticeable that many new campuses have been built and expanded,” said Professor Rami. Favorable education conditions like online classes have been created for teachers and students. In his opinion, the Chinese government has spared no effort to support education, improve education infrastructure, enhance education quality, and cultivate more competent talents. Based on his observations, the quality of students in China has largely improved in the past ten years. He noted that nowadays, Chinese students don’t only focus on their majors but also manage to master technology like computers, and software well, which enables them to better integrate into education and the development of society.
Moreover, Professor Rami highlighted that Chinese universities had placed great significance on elevating their comprehensive strength in both education service and academic achievements. According to his observations, universities in China are also incubators for research and innovative ideas to meet the needs of society. For instance, “One invention of Chongqing University became one indispensable component of the Wentian Lab Module of China Space Station.”
“China’s education has a promising future.” As a co-founder of joint degrees of Sichuan International Studies University and the University of Newcastle in Australia, Professor Rami has witnessed how the system has transformed from the “2+2” mode (Chinese students spent two years studying in China and then two years in Australia) to “3+1” mode (Chinese students spent three years studying in China and then a year in Australia). “This readjustment indicates that nowadays Chinese education has also been recognized by international education with China’s local education being geared up to international standards.” professor Rami reaffirmed. With China’s rapid growth of the economy and fast development in technology and society, China is increasingly attractive to international students to pursue their studies here. What’s more, many Chinese universities have cooperated with international experts, talents, and universities, which will boost China’s education development in the future.
Chinese students have been the largest group of overseas students studying in English-speaking countries like the US, UK, and Australia for many years. In recent years, many international students have favored studying in China, which is becoming a new trend.
“In the current era, China has switched roles and is now one of the top ‘receiving’ countries for foreign students,” Professor Rami said. “Now China’s education is benefiting the world. With the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, the fast development of China, and China’s worldwide cooperation and participation, China has become more attractive to international students.”
In Professor Rami’s opinion, job prospects, learning Mandarin, gaining personal development, and acquiring skills and experiences are advantages for international students studying in China. Inspired by the country’s economic success, many international students, especially those from Belt and Road countries, want to absorb the “know-how” economic policies, management, and investment strategies that would allow them to implement similar reforms back home and make a positive impact through work. Many expressed a desire to find employment in Chinese businesses, the public sector, or even their prior fields back in their home countries. This is because many Chinese companies are sprouting in these countries, and the students strongly desire to make a positive impact by following China’s lead economically. Education in China allows them to gain invaluable knowledge, expertise, and experience that will help them advance in their chosen profession.
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