Beijing's People-to-People Diplomacy (II): Municipal Universities
Date: 2023-01-28
Source: Beijing Foreign Affairs Office
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Editor's Note: As spring approaches, the new year is about to begin. Over the past three years, Beijing has carried out Covid-19 response and pursued economic and social development in a well-coordinated way, and also made unremitting efforts in foreign exchanges, especially the people-to-people diplomacy. National industry associations and chambers of commerce based in Beijing, municipal-level social organizations, and municipal universities and enterprises have taken the initiative to adapt to the evolving developments with new approaches, and achieved remarkable results.

Among these achievements are bold actions of standing up for the country to uphold justice, concrete moves of spreading Chinese culture and contributing China's wisdom to global governance, gratifying results of fulfilling social responsibilities to improve people's lives, and the tremendous compassion of reaching out to each other to fight against the Covid-19.

Now, let's take a look at some highlights in this endeavor and work together to write a new chapter of people-to-people diplomacy in Beijing in the year of rabbit.

Given the significance of inter-university interaction in strengthening people-to-people ties and improving Beijing's role as a center for international exchanges, the municipal universities in Beijing have taken on the responsibility by integrating education with science and culture, thus promoting exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and foreign civilizations.

I. Engage in international education governance to help Beijing's universities "go global"

By establishing international alliances of universities and international academic alliances of disciplines, the supply of global educational public goods and superior educational and scientific research resources has been expanded, thus enhancing the leading role and influence of municipal universities in Beijing.

Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA) launched the Belt and Road Architectural University International Consortium (BRAUIC) in 2017. The BRAUIC has held its conference each year since its inception. The Commemorative Celebration of the Fifth Anniversary of BRAUIC & Forum on Higher Education in Architecture was held in 2022, which focused on fostering innovative talent in architecture under the "Belt and Road" initiative, and establishing mechanisms for nurturing and sharing talent within BRAUIC, so as to promote sci-tech cooperation and innovative development.


The Commemorative Celebration of the Fifth Anniversary of BRAUIC at BUCEA

Based on the "Belt and Road" Sino-Polish University Consortium (SPUC), Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), the initiator, has built joint platforms for  the training of Chinese and Polish talent, scientific and technological innovation, and language and cultural exchanges. It also introduced three branded events, the "Bonding Art and Heart" Art & Design Competition, "Bonding Tech and Heart" International Conferences, and "Building Connectivity" Sino-Polish Youth Summer Camp.


BJUT "Bonding Art and Heart" Art Festival & Sino-Polish University Consortium Rectors and Presidents Forum

Beijing Dance Academy fully leveraged its position as the chair of the China-CEEC Dance Culture Union, and organized various events to boost cultural exchanges, such as exchange performances, joint choreography, student and teacher exchanges, master workshops, and summer dance camps, among its members. So far, the number of the Union members has increased to 41.

II. Develop new cooperation models to continuously make Beijing's higher education international

Coordinated steps have been taken in the planning of international cooperation, including cooperative education programs, joint research, and personnel exchanges, so as to promote internationalized development of higher education in Beijing.

Capital Normal University’s move to establish itself as a popular choice for overseas students helps attract over 2,000 international students annually. With its strength in training teachers, it aims to nurture international talent who can understand, be friendly with and support China, and make them international pioneers of spreading Chinese culture, so that the world can get a better understanding of China.


Compilations of Works by International Students from Capital Normal University

Beijing University of Agriculture (BUA) has established various forms of cooperation with universities in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, and carried out the "3+1" cooperative education programs. 76% of the graduates of three majors under such programs went on to pursue master's degrees overseas. In 2022, BUA was included in the "Innovative Programme for Nurturing High-caliber Internationalized Talent" undertaken by China Center for International People-to-People Exchange of the Ministry of Education.


Graduation Ceremony of China-UK Joint Education Program at BUA

As a follow-up to the general agreement on academic and scientific cooperation signed with the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, the Capital University of Physical Education and Sports (CUPES) hosted the 4th Sino-Slovenian Winter Sports Development Forum in 2021. Under the theme of "Celebrating Winter Olympics, Embracing the Future of Winter Sports", the two sides thoroughly discussed sports artificial intelligence, biomechanics and medicine to push forward the cause of the Olympics and sports.

III. Strengthen people-to-people exchanges to forge stronger bonds

Bearing in mind the philosophy of education through culture, people-to-people exchanges have been intensified to develop closer ties between the people.

Beijing International Studies University (BISU) has been building itself into an international campus and caring for foreign teachers. The Magnolia Joint Community Program has been introduced to promote cross-cultural exchanges and build a common home with distinctive features for both Chinese and foreign teachers and students.


2022 Launch of BISU Magnolia Joint Community Program

With a focus on people-to-people exchanges, Beijing Union University (BUU) organized diversified cultural activities with themes like "Celebrating New Year, Embracing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics" and "China Day" at the Confucius institute in the UK and Confucius classroom in Montenegro, presenting traditional Chinese culture and introducing BUU's strengths in majors and key features to local teachers and students.


2022 "Celebrating New Year, Embracing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics" Activities by BUU's Confucius Institute in the UK

Through movie, the "ambassador in the iron box", Beijing Film Academy has built bridges of friendship between Chinese and foreign young filmmakers, spreading Chinese culture and telling China's stories through footage. The Academy's annual International Student Film and Video Festival (ISFVF) has been included in the special support program of the International Association of Film and Television Schools (CILECT). The 21st ISFVF in 2022 attracted 904 entries from 40 countries and regions. Events like the ISFVF lectures and post-screening discussions were held as part of its efforts to promote exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and foreign civilizations.


Closing Ceremony of the 21st ISFVF in 2022