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EU and China set to step up cooperation in higher education and academic mobility

The spring forum of the newly established EU-China High Level People to People Dialogue was held in Brussels on 18 April, 2012. A number of initiatives in the area of education, culture and youth were announced at the closing plenary of the forum by the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport, Androulla Vassiliou, and the State Councillor of the People’s Republic of China, Yandong Liu. Specifically in the field of education, which inevitably touches on mobility, both sides agreed to:

  • establish a new forum on higher education – the EU-China Higher Education Platform for Cooperation and Exchange – to help identify themes of common interest for future joint work between the EU and China;
  • conduct an EU-China "Tuning" joint study in order to bring the higher education systems and institutions in the EU and China closer;
  • expand the mobility of students, academics and researchers between the EU and China, in particular the exchanges of language students and teachers of lesser-spoken EU official languages;
  •  provide 30 000 scholarships in the period 2012-2016 for European students, teachers and researcher to study in China;
  • support the organisation of a China-EU conference on multilingualism at the end of 2012.
The People to People dialogue, aiming to serve as the third pillar of EU-China relations, will complement the existing High Level Strategic Dialogue and High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue.  It is the result of the 14th EU-China Summit held in Beijing on 14 February, 2012, in which leaders from both sides agreed that deepening understanding and mutual trust between peoples of the EU member states and China is vital to the long-term development of bilateral relations. European Commission - Commissioner's speech European Commission - Press release