Modern China, an opportunity?

Shangai city silhouette, China

China has changed a lot. Ultramodern goes hand in hand with traditions. In education, focus is still on scores, evaluation, and performance – ranking lists play an important role. At the same time Chinese universities are very actively seeking international cooperation to modernize the curriculum and to also show their excellence.

Majority of Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland have cooperation with Chinese universities. So does TAMK. To diversify our networks and to show our core expertise, we visited both South China (Nigbo, together with Tanyu, Syed and Marika) and North China (Handan and Shijiazhuang together with Tanyu, Vesa and Piia, whit whom we had also a short visit to Shanghai). Topics covered included Business school and marketing, technology and engineering and early childhood pedagogy. My reflection in one word is “astonishment”.

We experienced a very modern China, especially in Nigbo. Nigbo is known of its harbor, and international business.  A visit to Livestreaming Industry College, where local influencers are working together with students in an ultramodern environment was inspiring. In the premises local and global brands have their showrooms for social influencers, and new setups can be created, e.g.  Chinese home kitchen setup is there ready for broadcasting. Perhaps TAMK could also learn something from this: how can we include our region, regional products, and industry even more into our campus?

In Northern China (Handan, Shijiazhuang), we had a short visit to local university of technology, a university of 30 000 students with modern campus. University, dormitories, canteens, sport center was completed in 2019. Teachers have already started to move to the campus, and on our visit, we had a chance to learn how local modern kindergarten works. We also visited two different universities with kindergarten teachers’ education. A model, where students have active, participative role, and where group working skills are something TAMK could deliver here. Students’ wellbeing was highlighted in some of our visits, but it is perhaps something we could focus on in the future.

What did I gain? Technological leap has been very fast in China, and modern learning environments enabling distant learning and e-education are in place. Also, the will for international cooperation is very high, but at the same time it is obvious, that English language skills must be improved prior this cooperation can be a fruitful dialogue. Study in China – brand is an interesting new opening from China to build its higher education brand for global competitiveness. Quality and efficiency of studies are current focus areas. Is this something Finland and TAMK could deliver?

Text: Hannu Koponen, Business Operations Manager
Picture: Pixabay

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