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8 May 2018

China calling Indian students Top varsities to join education expo in city

Students throng the first Chinese higher education expo in 2016
TT, Calcutta: A total of 61 universities will be represented at the Chinese Higher Education Expo to be held on May 10 and 11 at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, the 3,200-seater facility in New Town. This is almost double the participation in 2016 when the expo was held in India for the first time, with 32 universities.
The expo will have participation from top-ranking universities such as Nanjing University, Xi'an Jiaitong University, Northwest University, Sichuan University of Science and Technology and Northeast Normal University.
"This is the first time that so many universities are coming to India together. We were expecting around 50. But the response was even better than we expected," said the consul general of China, Ma Zhanwu. Entry is free. "Visitors have registered from as far as Delhi, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh," he said.
The Bengal government is delighted. "We are happy that the Chinese universities see Bengal as the hub of education in this region," is the official communication to the consulate from the chief minister's office on the event.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit China soon and the consulate is "working closely with her office to finalise the timeframe". Dates in June are being looked at.
The expo, held in association with The School of Chinese Language in Calcutta, will be inaugurated by higher education minister Partha Chatterjee on Thursday.
On offer will be over 100 majors in subjects such as engineering, medicine, liberal arts and Chinese language. "Most subjects are taught in English. You can even take up courses on yoga," said the consul general.
Ma Zhanwu, China’s consul general at a press meet on Monday. (Sanat Kr Sinha)
In 2016, more than 4,000 students had attended the expo and dozens had signed up to study in China at the Milan Mela venue, he recalled.
Currently, around 18,000 Indian students are studying in China, including a few hundred from Bengal, the consulate said. According to May 2017 figures, there are 2,914 colleges and universities in China with over 20 million students.
The consulate has in recent times been promoting bilateral exchanges between educational institutions in Bengal and China. Two delegations of high school principals have visited China while 20 pairs of tie-ups have been forged among colleges.
"Indian students studying in China will understand Chinese culture while people in China will get acquainted with Indian ways. Such exchanges are needed to promote mutual friendship and understanding among people," he said.
The success of the recent meet in Wuhan between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, he said, was helping improve bilateral ties in many ways. "This time, getting visas for the university officials coming for the expo was easy. In 2016, there were several rejections," he smiled. Seven artistes are also part of the delegation and will perform here.

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