China / Innovation

Shanghai looks to develop its international education potential

By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-25 08:05

Shanghai has launched a series of projects in an effort to build itself into an international education exchange center.

As part of this drive, an international education service and innovation park has been unveiled in the city's Hongkou district.

The park is to be an educational hub with global influence, and will act as a growth engine and benchmark for the country's development.

"The park will have four core functions: international education and training, testing and examinations, consultation and assessment, and certification," said Li Yongzhi, head of the park.

A number of educational organizations will be introduced to the park in the near future, covering areas such as overseas study, education certification and development, and online education, Li said.

Shanghai looks to develop its international education potential

Other platforms to be developed at the park include an international education big data center, international affairs think tank, international talent training base, international education quality evaluation and certification service platform, and a service platform for international students.

According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Education, the number of people going abroad to study reached 523,700 last year. The figure was increased 63,900 or 13.9 percent from 2014.

In addition to integrating its international education resources, Shanghai is also focusing on improving its educational services so as to attract more international students.

Last month a total of six comprehensive service centers for international students were announced in the city.

These centers will provide a one-stop shop for international students, offering everything from consultations on educational policy, to information about schools and courses, language training, and assistance with visa applications.

"These service centers will help more international students quickly adapt to life in the city, and have a better understanding of Shanghai," said Yang Weiren, head of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission's international exchanges department.

They also help attract more international students and promote the implementation of the city's international education strategy, Yang added.

One convenience offered by the centers is their student visa facilities, which allow international students to apply for a visa extension without having to travel to the city's Pudong New Area.

Officials said they are planning to establish more of these centers across the city for the convenience of international students.

Meanwhile, more languages have been made available on the official website for international students studying in Shanghai, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian.

The website was created in 2014, and aims to help the city attract more international students and promote itself as one of Asia's most popular study destinations.

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