On the afternoon of December 10, the 3rd Presidents Seminar of the Sino-Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences was held at NJIT. The seminar was jointly hosted by the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (ARENE) and co-organized by the China Center for International Educational Exchange (CCIEE) and NJIT. This online meeting (by conference call) included An Yan (Deputy Secretary-general of CEAIE), Mervi Vidgrén (President of ARENE), Zhao Lei (Chief of the European Division of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education) and Jing Meiying (Deputy Director of the International Cooperation and Training Department of the National Academy of Education Administration) together with fellow representatives from CEAIE, CCIEE, ARENE, 12 Chinese partner institutes and six Finnish partner institutes.
The seminar focused on “Strategies to produce globally competent skilled and innovative graduates by utilizing industry-university-research collaborations”. Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and President of NJIT, Shi Jinfei, and Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of NJIT, Pu Lijie, delivered keynote speeches.
President Shi Jinfei presented a report entitled “Enhancing Industry-Education Integration and Establishing Universities of Applied Sciences with Outstanding Characteristics”, describing NJIT’s route from “university-enterprise cooperation” to “industry-university-research collaborations” and finally “industry-university-research integration”. He illustrated how the incorporation of industry and education facilitated the development of high-caliber talented graduates to satisfy the significant industrial requirements. President Shi said industry-education integration was the logical outcome and essential component of contemporary higher education. Recognizing this global trend, he expected that the Sino-Finnish Alliance of Universities of Applied Sciences’ progress would improve the quality education resources in Finland, diversify the development choices for talented students, so as to increase the numbers of high-caliber gifted graduates, and enhance the cooperation towards achieving industry-education integration between Chinese and Finnish universities of applied sciences.
In his speech on “How to Develop Globally Competent, Skilled, and Talented Graduates in Sino-Finnish Cooperative Education”, Deputy Secretary Pu Lijie elaborated on the “4+0” Joint Software Engineering Program involving NJIT and University of Oulu. The Sino-Finnish program, he said, had been improving satisfactorily in all aspects. In addition to its effectiveness, the program has boosted improvements to faculty development, academic standing and talent cultivation at NJIT. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the universities’ mission to find innovative approaches to teaching and sustainable development of international cooperation. As a key member of the Sino-Finnish Alliance of Universities of Applied Sciences, he promised that NJIT would respond to the Alliance’s call and utilize its platform to develop in-depth collaboration between universities of applied sciences in China and Finland.
Also at the seminar, Zhao Lei (Chief of the European Division of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education) and Dr. Mervi Vidgrén (President of ARENE) voiced their support for cooperation between Chinese and Finnish universities using their respective advantages and jointly developed high-level talents as required by local industries and businesses. During the discussion session, the representative of NJIT’s Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges and Professor Jari Luomakoski (coordinator of the Finnish 20) reached a preliminary agreement on projects including joint development of talented students, course exchanges, faculty and skills training, and student exchanges.
Under the Sino-Finnish Talented Students Development Program developed by CCIEE and ARENE, the annual seminar for presidents will be held alternately in China and Finland. The successful organization of this year’s seminar consolidated NJIT’s role as an active participant in the Alliance and further enhanced NJIT’s profile among Chinese and Finnish universities of applied sciences.