UK education minister promotes links with China

By Wang Ke
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, November 11, 2010
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Education is the key to the economic and social development of the UK and China and to building lasting cultural links between the two countries, the UK Secretary of State for Education said.

Over the past two days, the UK Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove has been in Beijing attending the 5th Annual China-UK ministerial Summit with a view to further developing the strong bilateral exchanges.

He told "Developing the standards of education is of paramount important importance to both the UK and China."

Gove has undertaken many visits in support of diversifying bilateral collaborations in higher education, vocational education and skills training.

China-UK education exchanges are going from strength to strength. There are more than 85,000 Chinese currently studying in the UK, and nearly 100 joint venture programs between British and Chinese universities.

Gove hopes the summit can help encourage and support more UK students and academics in exchanges with Chinese institutions. This objective is not limited to increasing the UK students studying in China; it also includes programs for professional development for teachers and academics.

"Modern demand for vocational led education and skills training programs are essential to the development of a strong economy," he said.

Gove visited Tsinghua High School and Jinsong Vocational High School, a major national school that is successful in international partnerships.

Another aim of his visit to China was to discuss the bilateral cooperation from a cultural understanding perspective. "These exchanges are a key element of the relationship between the UK and China," he said.

China and the UK established a framework to further develop the teaching of Mandarin Chinese including a plan for a joint program to train up to 1,000 new Chinese language teachers in the UK in the next five years.

Gove told about 35 Confucius Classrooms have been set up to develop the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in primary and secondary schools across England.

Elizabeth Reid, chief executive at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, said: "China is at the center of the global economy and the next generation will need to understand its culture and be able to work in its language."

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