COM visiting partner universities in China
COM:s management team represented by Dean Conny Johansson and Head of Education, Gunnar Råhlén visited in mid October four partner universities in China. Together with us travelled also Guohua Bai, docent at COM, with most valuable contacts to the right people at the Chinese universities.
We visited the following Universities:
- Shandong University at Weihai
- Qingdao University
- Zheijang University of Technology
- University of Science and Technology Beijing
We also had a meeting with a new potential partner, Jilin Beihua University, situated in the north-eastern China. They have a number of times shown an interest in a co-operation with us. There are no agreements yet but the door is open for continuous discussions.
The COM strategy is to contact highly ranked universities in China. By presenting various concepts of a predefined co-operation we offered attractive opportunities for the Chinese students and the Chinese Universities, as well as for us at COM. We presented attractive education in an international atmosphere to a very good price, and we ourselves can reduce recruitment, marketing and administrative costs with an organized co-operation like this. International collaboration is not only a demand at Chinese universities, they also see it as an advantage for their students to have the possibility to an international interaction. The importance for us is to guarantee the internationalism and of course to secure our future economy.
Further on, we are focusing on co-operation at Master level. Right now we do not see the convenience in going through the steps of development needed to create the right match of English bachelor programs even if some of the Chinese universities have asked for a co-operation at this level. Also there is a higher ability level in English for students having passed their examination.
A summary of our visits to the universities:
- All our partners are willing to continue the co-operational discussions with us!
- A concept much like the student exchange agreement we have with JNTU-H in India is very interesting. However it will most likely be 2 years of studies in Sweden and not 1.5 as with JNTU-H.
- Some universities are interested in joint Master programmes with a Swedish exam.
- The English qualification will be specified further and the quality demand will be raised.
- There is a request for teacher- and research exchange.
- A BTH-office in China would facilitate the contacts between BTH and the Chinese universities.
During the trip there was time for a visit at World Expo in Shanghai, where we noticed a far from impressing Swedish pavilion. We also visited the ABB transformer factory in Shanghai where they focus on high-quality workmanship by means of Six Sigma methodology for instance.
One of the evenings we got to meet Jelte Jansons, well known by many of us at BTH. Jelte, who comes from Holland, has an exam from Master of Software Engineering at BTH and has also worked as a teacher at BTH for a couple of years. After a few years at Ericsson in Karlskrona, Jelte is now locally employed by Ericsson, Shanghai at the System Management department. He came with pleasant information that a former student project at BTH has turned into a profitable product developed by Ericsson in Shanghai.
At the Zheijang University we met with 8 students who had spent a year each at BTH. They informed us about their positive as well as negative experiences which are of great use for both us and the Zheijang University. To the question on what it is like to study at BTH, they answered; 'It is very convenient', 'It suits me very well', 'The size of the city is the best'. It was very satisfying to see that their stay at BTH has made such positive impact.
We are very satisfied with our visit to China. We have learned a lot and have good hope to be able to recruit students from our Chinese partners in the future. During our walks round the open areas at the universities we noticed hundreds of students studying in almost complete silence. Bearing in mind that they had been standing in line for two hours before opening just to get a seat, shows the discipline and target-oriented approach of the Chinese students. We have learnt about the Chinese educational system and where their focus is. We have also gained a better insight into what is decisive for the Chinese student´s choice of studies and that the parents opinions are of great importance.
Conny Johansson, Gunnar Råhlén and Guohua Bai