The first higher education institution named after the Belt and Road Initiative will welcome its first group of international students in September, its founder said recently.
Founded by the Renmin University of China in Beijing, Silk Road College aims to cultivate high-end international professionals and future leaders from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative who are passionate about Chinese culture and have a deep understanding of China’s development path, models and experiences, said Zhu Xinkai, director of the university’s Development Planning Branch.
The school, located on the university’s Suzhou campus in Jiangsu province, plans to enroll 50 to 100 students in September from countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, Zhu said, adding that the school will gradually increase its enrollment.
The two-year program offers a master’s degree to these international students, who will be exempt from tuition, housing and medical insurance fees, he said.
There will be four majors: Chinese politics, Chinese economy, Chinese law and Chinese culture, Zhu said.
Zhao Kejin, an associate professor of international relations at Tsinghua University, said establishment of the school can facilitate more educational exchanges between China and Belt and Road Initiative countries.
“However, the school should not be limited to students from those countries,” Zhao said. “Chinese students and students from other countries should also be able to attend the school.”
Countries participating in the initiative remained the largest source of international students in China in 2017. International students from these nations increased by 11 percent last year to 317,200, about 65 percent of the overall total, according to the Ministry of Education.
Some 66,100 Chinese students studied in countries taking part in the initiative in 2017, up nearly 16 percent from 2016, with 3,679 sponsored by the government.
China had signed 45 agreements on educational cooperation with those countries by April 2017. Diplomas issued by Chinese universities and the higher education institutions in 24 of the countries were mutually recognized as of March 2017, the ministry said.