Text: Jani Kohonen
Dr. Yuzhuo Cai, and the Sino-Finnish Education Research Centre (SFERC) he co-coordinates at the University of Tampere in Finland (UTA), captured media attention in China in May 2018.
SFERC is one of the six centres in the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institutes (JoLiis), established jointly by the Ministries of Education of China and Finland, with over forty participating universities from the two countries. Mr. Yuzhuo Cai is a senior lecturer and adjunct professor at the Faculty of Management at UTA and a resident of Finland for sixteen years.
In May, CCTV (China Central Television) broadcasted a feature on Dr. Yuzhuo Cai and his decade-long commitment to furthering Sino-Finnish education research and his role in developing SFERC. In the three-and-a-half-minute programme, Dr. Yuzhuo Cai presented the main points of Finnish education from the Chinese perspective. The estimated audience of more than ten million also caught a glimpse of the Finnish education system as a whole including aspects the Chinese could learn.
Dr. Cai’s work was also noted in a feature in the European Times (欧洲时报), the largest Chinese newspaper dedicated to reporting events in Europe. Dr. Cai talked about the merits of the Finnish educational system and what aspects China can learn from it, which are among the primary research topics of SFERC.
Both the CCTV and European Times reporters took a keen interest in the basic and higher education in Finland, with special consideration on how the highly competitive Chinese school system might strive for similar results as Finland. It is a great challenge considering how different the two societies and cultures are.
With the merger of the three higher education institutions in Tampere from 2019 and the increased interest in both China and Finland, both SFERC – a joint operation between the University of Tampere and Beijing Normal University – and the entire JoLii network is expected to gain an increasing momentum in the form of new Sino-Finnish degree programmes, publications and seminars.