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WHU delegation visits Germany and Switzerland
Author:Yang Shaoqing & Hu Sijia  Date:2019-12-19  Clicks:

Li Ziyuan,  Vice President of WHU, led a WHU delegation to Germany and Switzerland from Nov. 21 to 28. The delegates attended the 10th anniversary celebration of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr in Germany, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and visited associated universities and WHU students who are currently studying in Germany as exchange students.

2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr which was set up by WHU, Duisburg-Essen University and the city of Duisburg in Germany. On Nov. 22, the WHU delegation visited Duisburg-Essen University to express sincere congratulations to the Confucius Institute. At the 2019 steering committee meeting of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr, Vice President Li remarked that Duisburg-Essen University was a key university destination for WHU’s student exchange programs to Germany, while the co-founded Confucius Institute served as a bridge of cultural exchanges between China and Germany. He also hoped that the two universities would encourage exchanges among teachers and students through the institute. In this way, the two universities can both enhance academic, research and education quality as they expand their cooperation.

In the afternoon of Nov. 22, the 10th anniversary celebration of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr took place in Duisburg City Hall. President Li delivered a speech at the event during which he spoke highly of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr for its achievements over the past decade. Going forward, he expected it to carry on the undertaking of “telling Chinese stories and spreading Chinese culture”, thereby promoting people-to-people contact and mutual learning between China and Germany. Over 100 representatives of the Confucius Institute’s partner organizations attended the celebration, including Soren Link (Mayor of Duisburg), Thomas Spitzley (Vice President of Duisburg-Essen University) and Feng Yiping (First Secretary to the office of Educational Affairs of the Embassy of the P. R. of China in Germany). In addition, nine students from the WHU Student Arts Troop performed beautiful pieces of classical Chinese music at the ceremony, which were highly appreciated by the audience.

President Li addressing the 10th anniversary celebration of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr

In the morning of Nov. 25, the WHU delegation visited Marburg University in Germany where they held in-depth discussions with Prof. Michael Boelker, Vice President for Research and International Affairs of the university. They discussed matters of mutual concern, including exchanges of eminent students and teachers, education reform, and research cooperation in fields such as biological medicine. The two universities have already  engaged in long-standing cooperation. For example, the co-established China-Germany class was launched 12 years ago, and since then has cultivated numerous qualified legal personnel who master “multiple languages, interdisciplinary skills and various professions”. In the afternoon, WHU delegates paid a special visit to 12 WHU students who are currently studying in Marburg University as exchange students and talked with them.

The delegation visiting WHU students who are on exchange in Marburg University

On Nov. 26, the WHU delegation continued its journey onto Geneva, Switzerland to discuss  cooperation with UNITAR. A bilateral MoU on cooperation was signed. Before the signing, President Li met with Julian Caletti who is in charge of the UNITAR Multilateral Diplomacy Program. Five areas of cooperation were agreed, including the co-holding international meetings, co-developing of online courses, co-launching of master programs, sending WHU students to have an internship in UNITAR, and inviting UNITAR officials to teach in WHU during the summer semester. At the event, Nikhil Seth, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR, remarked that he expected the MoU to be the beginning of a long-term cooperation between the two sides. He believed that profound, extensive and fruitful cooperation can be achieved through joint efforts. President Li then pointed out that WHU and UNITAR shared the same mission, which was precisely the reason why they would want to cooperate in the first place, and carry on with their endeavor. He hoped that the MoU would facilitate long-term cooperation between the two sides such as WHU’s upskilling of promising students and sending them to work in international organizations. Also, he expected WHU to equip more students with a global outlook and great leadership who are ready to work in UN agencies, thus making greater contributions to world peace and development.

WHU signing Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with UNITAR

During the stay, WHU delegates engaged in dialogue with Duisburg-Essen University on the management of campus support services, checked out infrastructure and services of Bonn University in Germany and Geneva University in Switzerland, visited school facilities of Marburg University such as its canteen, dormitory and library, and exchanged in-depth views with relevant administrators.

Photo by: Hu Sijia, Lai Rui

Rewritten by Zhou Siyan

Edited by: Cao Siyi, Shen Yuxi and Shi Weiya and Hu Sijia


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