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Chinese Education, Research and Exchange Centre

CEREC Annual Meeting: Dialogues Among the Stakeholders of Sino-Finnish Cooperation in the Area of Higher Education

Organised jointly by Chinese Education Research and Exchange Centre (CEREC), University of Tampere and Finnish Ministry of Education, the meeting was held on May 28th at Ministry of Education. This meeting has significantly increased mutual understanding and dialogues between the key actors in Finnish higher education export scheme. Participants included Chinese embassy in Helsinki, Finnish embassy in Beijing, the representative from Centre for International Mobility (CIMO), the representative of Confusions Institute in Helsinki, and the representative of City of Tampere.

Three objectives have been achieved in this meeting. First it aimed to stimulate corporations among the actors in export. Through sharing the current strategies and future plans of each organisation, the need of establishing a network of the key actors in export scheme was identified. Finnish higher education sector is highly dependent on the public funding, and therefore efficient allocation of resources is crucial. To achieve synergy on both regional and national level, the stakeholders of export have to integrate in terms of information sharing and objective establishing.

Second, the challenges faced with executions of export plans should be identified. Since 2009 Ministry of Education has encouraged Finish institutions of higher education to export fee-based educational services, opportunities as well as challenges have emerged in the Sino-Finnish cooperation. From the national level, the biggest challenge as identified by the participants was the fact that guideline was missing. Although it was encouraged that individual institutions and companies should be active in seeking projects with the Chinese partners, it was even more important to let them know what to do and how to do, and how well should do.  

Third, CEREC’s role should be pondered upon. As the first Sino-Finnish higher education centre in the European continent, CEREC’s role is crucial in marketisation of Finnish higher education. The current “networking” or “linkage” function of it was appreciated by the participants of the meeting. However, the expertise of CEREC should be utilised in a larger community and its visibility should be further increased both in Finland and in China.

The next annual meeting will be held in May 2014. By then, CEREC will have further discussion about its role internal and external the University of Tampere.

 
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