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Headmasters Gather in Beijing
Beijing is suffering dog heat of mid-summer recently. But the climate in Huairou, a county in the suburb of the city, is comfortable because it is greatly cooled by lavishly planted trees on the mountains and surrounding lakes. This is the venue for the Chinese-Foreign University Presidents Forum, held from July 22 to the end of the month, at which over 100 headmasters and education experts worldwide gather to exchange views on management of universities.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China, the forum is regarded as an important event in the country’s educational field. China is accelerating its pace in education reform and the Chinese organs of higher learning are eagerly seeking views and experiences from advanced foreign academia. Monday’s opening saw headmasters from 82 Chinese universities including the prestigious Peking University, Tshinghua University and Fudan University, who were shaking hands and talking with the headmasters from 16 foreign universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Stanford.

Chen Zhili, Chinese minister of education, addressed the opening ceremony. She said that universities of worldwide are faced with challenges of the new era, which they have to meet by changing and reforming themselves. Modern universities should adopt the modern ways of management and principals are taking the leading role in this regard. Therefore, headmasters may take advantage of this opportunity to share information and exchange views.

Minister Chen told the conference that China’s educational field is also facing challenges caused by the country’s rapid economic reform and the entry of WTO. That may be the reason why many Chinese university principals came to the meeting with a bag of questions, to which they wanted to find solution from their foreign colleagues. “It is expected that the Chinese university principals will back home with some fresh ideas which help improve their school’s management and even the development strategy,” she said.

The 11-day meeting will be devoted to the discussion of several tops: how to set up the development goals of university, how to set up the development strategy to meet the changing world, how to develop a new system of fostering more talents, how to maintain a legion of high-quality teachers, how to build a more reasonable mechanism for teaching and scientific studies, and so forth.

(china.org.cn, by staff reporter Feng Shu, July 23, 2002)

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