Together with the research project “Bright Futures”, the DAAD Branch Office Brussels has organized a policy briefing about EU-China Student Mobility on Friday, 26 October 2018.

It is a well-known phenomenon: The USA, but also European countries are receiving large flows of students from East Asia, with students from China making up the largest group. At the same time, the interest of European students in China only shows a hesitant development, especially in terms of long-term and self-organized stays.

The event had two parts. At the beginning, the report “In search of excellence: Chinese students on the move” was launched. It outlines key findings from survey fieldwork on Chinese students’ mobility to the UK and Germany, conducted by the three-country collaborative project “Bright Futures”. Scientists from Essex, Bielefeld, Edinburgh and Madrid presented interesting results concerning inter alia choice of study subjects, study success and integration.

The second part was dedicated to a panel discussion on current achievements, obstacles and challenges of educational mobility between China and Europe, including policy concepts at national and EU level, which aim to foster student mobility flows between the two regions. Considering the fact that China has become a global player not only economically but also in science and innovation, it is certainly clear, that Europe needs more people who know and understand China.

Representatives of the Chinese Mission to the EU, the European Commission, the DAAD and a former DAAD scholarship holder of the DAAD to China, discussed strategies at EU and member state level to bring more European students to China and how to remove obstacles. A number of topics was mentioned – visa policies, language, intercultural differences, different teaching and learning methods and academic freedom.

All European panelists agreed that it would be in their interest to motivate more students, graduates and PhD candidates to go to China for study or research purposes. And the representative of the Chinese Mission, asked if this was also in China’s best interest, replied with such a spontaneous and heartfelt „Yes!“, that there was left no doubt that this is a shared ambition.

With regard to the next China-EU High Level People-to-People Dialogue in 2019, the panelists agreed to pursue their dialogue to explore what can be jointly done to make progress in achieving a more balanced mobility between China and the EU.

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