University presidents urge for high-standard int'l cooperation

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International academic cooperation needs to focus on quality, said a university representative at the World University Presidents Forum held in south China's Shenzhen on Saturday.

The internationalization of higher education was the topic of discussion at the forum.

Edward Guiliano, president of New York Institute of Technology, said the Institute was a good example of internationalization. Half of the students were undergraduates and the other half were postgraduates, and they came from 106 countries and regions all over the world. "We also have many exchange students projects," he said.

As it has become a trend that many famous universities establish branch campuses all around the world, it's a bit like running chain stores of McDonald's, said a representative from University of Tehran. However, international education cooperation should not be like this, only emphasizing on the amount and the copy of standards. It should focus on the quality and localization, he said.

Yang Wei, President of Zhejiang University, said that the university actually signed 140 cooperation contracts with overseas universities, but only half of these projects could be carried out.

Many university presidents agreed that the guarantee of quality was the precondition of the international cooperation for the higher education.

If the quality of branches is not guaranteed as their headquarters, nobody is willing to study there, and moreover, it will affect the university's fame.

The forum, in line with the Shenzhen Universiade, was themed "New Mission and Talents Training." The forum aimed at enhancing exchanges and cooperation among universities from home and abroad and attracted 163 university presidents from 68 countries and regions over the five continents.

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