Panellists at the forum on the benefits of strengthening academic links with China
Facilitating and enhancing the pathway for joint academic and cultural opportunities between China and Sri Lanka is to strengthen future relationships and cooperation between the two countries.
The first Study Centre promoting Chinese language and degrees from the second largest university in China, the Zhengzhou University, was ceremoniously launched on 24 July at 375, R.A. De Mel Mawatha Colombo 3 Sri Lanka.
Since the entire world, over the past few years, focused its foreign policy strategy more on China, this Centre is expected to provide the best platform for both Sri Lanka and China. This Centre will establish and deepen understanding and familiarity and create a pathway for harnessing strong academic relationships for the new era of the Silk Road.
A top notch university in a growing economy: Internationally recognised and reputed as a globally competitive university, the Zhengzhou University boasts of four key campuses, offering 12 major disciplines that comprise of philosophy, economics, law, management, arts, clinical medicine, materials science and engineering, chemistry, physics, material processing engineering, organic chemistry, chemical technology, pathology and pathophysiology.
Zhengzhou University has won nine National Teaching Achievement Awards and successively been listed as a National University of education and training for outstanding engineers, legal talents and doctors.
The event was graced by Krishanti Weerakoon, Director Foreign Affairs and Trade Commissioner for China and Yang Zuoyuan, Economic and Commercial Counsellor for China both of whom endorsed this initiative taken towards enhancing educational links between China and Sri Lanka.
Seven Full Scholarships for Civil and Software Engineering were also handed over to deserving students at the launch.
The Chinese advantage: Citing the focus Dammika Bopitiya Director of CCC stated, “The rapid development of China has captured the attention of the world. It is not just the multinational corporations, enterprising entrepreneurs and ace professionals from other nations who want to head to China. Youth from all over the world are doing so. They see China as a destination in academics and research in an amazing number of fields. When it comes to education, in the QS World University Rankings 2019, Chinese universities are ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has provided interesting benefits to students, to avail themselves with scholarships to pursue higher education in China. Our Centre helps to provide such pathways to local students.”
He added, “As China aims to become Asia’s top destination for international students by 2020, educational ties are a great area to achieve synergy. We strongly believe that such tie-ups are necessary to develop better people-to-people contact between Sri Lanka and China that will help both countries achieve greater mutual understanding and strengthen relationships that will pave the way in offering a host of value driven opportunities for our Sri Lankan youth.”
CCC Director Chandrika Hettiaratchi commented, “All parents want their child to have a fulfilling and prosperous future. The growing influence of China globally, is a major change in the world that impacts on the future of all young Sri Lankans. Young people who are familiar with China and speak the Chinese language will be equipped with a competitive edge in today’s world job market. China currently is leading the eastern hemisphere’s surge in education with their universities becoming the top institutions in Asia.
“Chinese universities are also increasingly well respected and the number included in major global university rankings has risen significantly over the past five years. With China’s growing economic and cultural significance, the aim of our Centre is to open up opportunities for our Sri Lankan youth to boost their career trajectory. Besides, young people from the two countries should strengthen communication and learn from each other to play a bigger role in reshaping the cultures of their countries, which will inspire the emergence of a new form of relations between China and Sri Lanka.”