Shanghai January, 2014
CDR Newsletter 2014
Dette nyhedsbrev udgives af Region Midtjyllands Repræsentationskontor i
Shanghai. Det beskriver regionens aktiviteter i Shanghai og formidler fagspecifikke
temaer og nyheder fra Shanghai med relevans for regionens samarbejdspartnere og
This Newsletter is published by Central Denmark Region´s Representative
Office in Shanghai. It conducts some of the regions activities in Shanghai and
communicates themes and news from Shanghai of interests for CDR partners and
International Education in Shanghai
The article explores the advantages and challenges of studying in Shanghai and the possibilities of entering the job market. The article is based on interviews with the Danish Science Consul, Lars Christensen, master student Jacob Rosca and the director of school office of Shanghai Business & Tourism School, Ms. Ye Weiwei. The article is made due to an increasing
international focus from educational institutions in Shanghai– not only from universities but also from high-schools – and an increased awareness among high-schools in Central Denmark Region about the importance to offer their students Chinese lessons, as well as the advantages of studying in China.
As China speeds up its opening to the world, Shanghai, this metropolitan with around 24 million inhabitants, has been striving for full development on international collaboration on education. More and more foreign students are attracted to come to this modern city to study. In 2005, the number of foreign students studying in Shanghai was 26,000 and it went up to more than 43,000 in 2010.
Shanghai government is trying to develop different aspects in this industry at the moment such as overseas training for Chinese teachers, overseas studying and internships for Chinese students, introducing intellectual resources from abroad for Chinese students, opening international schools for expatriates’ children,
strengthening the communication between sister schools from Shanghai and other cities in the world, attracting foreign college students to study in Shanghai etc.
“There is a great interest in collaboration on higher education from both the Chinese side and the international side, including Danish ones. One driver behind this is of course the many excellent Chinese universities located in Shanghai”, Lars Christensen says.
Lars Christensen, Danish Science Consul representing the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education working in Shanghai shared his opinion regarding the current situation of international cooperation on education in Shanghai: “There is a great interest in collaboration on higher education from both the Chinese side and the international side, including Danish ones. One driver behind this is of course the many excellent Chinese universities located in Shanghai.”
A country with diverse cultures and a long history is also able to attract foreign students. Jacob Rosca, a Danish exchange student who studied Enterprise Management at SEM Tongji University in Shanghai and afterwards got an internship via the Danish Technological Institute based in Shanghai (DTI runs the Programme Midtnet financed by Central Denmark Region) said: “I had previously visited China as a tourist and found China very interesting, so when the opportunity occurred through my studies in Copenhagen, I seized it.”
Ms. Ye Weiwei, the director of school office of Shanghai Business & Tourism School posed the same attitude about this: “We accepted a visit by Mercantec High School from
Denmark in May 2013 to discuss a possible cooperation in the future，and they were also quite interested in the aspect of Chinese culture. When Mercantec visit here next time in 2014, I am considering to organize some Chinese activities for them to join in such as cooking Chinese food, embroidery etc.”
Exciting exploration and valuable achievement
“China is the fastest growing science nation in modern history and the Chinese government has as its goal that China is to become an innovative nation in 2020. China is thus emerging as a hub for knowledge, business, talents, market and opportunities and Shanghai is then very much one of the- if not the – leading hotspots in China”, said Lars Christensen about the advantages of studying in Shanghai. “In general, the biggest benefit for international students is that they get exposed to Chinese language, culture, habits, thinking, and the way of living etc., which broadens their horizon
of the country”, he adds.
Jacob Rosca expressed the advantages of studying in Shanghai by adding: “The most valuable outcome was definitely the encounters with the Chinese business community and the learning experience of interacting with them, so very different from how things are done in the western part of the world.”
Existing challenges for foreign students in China
Challenges also exist for foreign students in Shanghai no matter how promising the future is: “I think the main challenge is language and not culture”, continues Lars Christensen.
“The lack of English skills makes it very difficult to have an intellectual debate in class and also made it difficult to interact with my fellow Chinese students regarding non-academic related matters”, says Jacob Rosca.
Ms. Ye Weiwei adds: “Our students are quite happy to communicate with these Danish students. Because they can speak and practise English with them, and understand Denmark by talking with them. There are two big problems at the moment: we can’t read and understand Danish websites, and if there is no English version, it is hard for us to get information and background knowledge about a school. The other thing is that it is easy for us to accept a foreign delegation of students, but it is hard for both our teachers and students to go abroad to visit due to our internal
complicated visa-application process”.
Competitive Job Market
The next step, how to find a job in Shanghai, or an international job in general, after graduation will be a key issue for foreign students to consider. But without a doubt, it will definitely be a benefit for those foreign students who have studied in Shanghai. Global companies around the world demand international talents:
“In Shanghai, there are in several fields many career opportunities for fresh graduates – with e.g. many international companies, who often are on the lookout to acquire new talent. However, even though they are international by name and origin, some companies may in many ways run as Chinese companies – at least in the sense that the working language might be Chinese. That might pose a challenge. Also,international students must realize that they are in hard competition with the many excellent Chinese graduates, more and more of them with high English proficiency”,
explains Lars Christensen. He continues: “But I agree that the companies in Shanghai and China in general have a growing need for employees with global skills, and this is the good news for the international students interested in working in China. Many international companies are not just in Shanghai with a view to the Chinese market, but increasingly with production, functions and tasks for the global market. Also Chinese companies look more to the global scene”.
“I’m still in Shanghai now, for the moment writing my Master Thesis here and exploring the job possibilities”, Jacob Rosca says and continues: “But be sure that nothing comes easy in
China/Shanghai – if you dream is to make a career here, you really have to be willing to invest the necessary time and energy in getting to know people within your field of interest, seize
opportunities and be willing to take risks”.
Most politicians and not least company leaders see international skills and competences as something that have to become a natural part of more people’s profiles, not in the distant future, but as soon as possible. A lot is being done by educational institutions already to incorporate different measures in order to offer their students, and thereby future employers, international skills and competences. So, in this aspect, the future looks promising and has huge potential and ability to develop until the whole international education industry goes to mature. “Collaboration among universities can take many shapes and sizes, but at least I think we will see the universities in Shanghai becoming even more international than they already are. That means more
programmes in English and thus a larger international student body. The development with New York University, opening a campus in Shanghai, is also an interesting new development” Lars Christensen predicts.
“Denmark to us is still a Nordic country that we are not quite familiar with, but we keep our doors open and welcome any opportunity in the future”, says Ms Ye Weiwei.
“I am not very sure about a macro-developing trend in international education of Shanghai. But in my opinion, we are on the right track to open the doors to make more
collaboration with different countries. But we must understand and know each other, and find a good matching point for further collaboration on the specific projects or programs. Currently, we have developed several collaborations with France, Germany, and Switzerland and went to Australia for visiting. Denmark to us is still a Nordic country that we are not quite familiar with, but we keep our doors open and welcome any opportunity in the future”, says Ms Ye
No doubt, international cooperation in the field of education is a lot more developed at university and college level than at high-school level – not mentioning ground school level. However, many high-schools have for decades practised the tradition of sending their students on student trips or exchange visits abroad, but the amount of high-schools doing that today have increased a lot. Also the focus on the content of the student trips, exchange visits, vocational trainee-stays abroad etc. seem to have changed, and especially the countries of focus have changed. As everybody knows, China has been ‘hot’ in many respects during the last decade, and in regard to Danish high-school institutions, this is no exception from that trend.
Educational Seminar with focus on Chinese – Feb. 3rd
In Central Denmark Region (Region Midtjylland) several high-schools have started to focus on offering ‘Chinese’ for their student, the focus and intensity with a varying degree, and the region’s Shanghai Office has during the last years experienced an enhanced interest from high-schools that are interested to find a partner school in Shanghai. This is a development that the region support and have therefore also taken the initiative to make a seminar that focuses on “The Future Global Employee – educational focus on China”, where high schools can meet, exchange experiences, listen to interesting presentations and participate in different workshops.
If you are interested in the programme or to know more, pls. contact:
Charlotte Ann Pedersen: email@example.com Malou Munkholm: Malou.Munkholm@ru.rm.dk
Wish everyone a lucky,
fruitful and successful
Chinese New Year!
Happy Horse Year!
Central Denmark Region, Shanghai Office
Chief Representative (new Chief Representative Katja Larsen will start in February 2014) Tel. +86 21 3401 0973
Add. Shanghai Technology Innovation Center, Room 711, Building 2, No. 100 Qin Zhou Road, Shanghai 200235, China
Tel. +86 158 2133 7997/+86 21 3406 0857
Add. Shanghai Technology Innovation Center, Room 711, Building 2, No. 100 Qin Zhou Road, Shanghai 200235, China