Assessment trip from Swiss University of Applied Sciences (UAS) with China

From April 11 to April 15 2016, two groups of delegations respectively from University of Applied Sciences in St.Gallen (FHS) and University of Applied Sciences in Bern (BHF) paid their first joint assessment trip of understanding the Chinese education reform that is to build up universities of applied science in China. FHS also brings its “80% theory + 20% practice” concept with a student consulting project to look for long-term partnership in adopting this UAS business school model in China. The assessment trip is jointly conducted with swissnex China.

The delegates are:

Peter Eigenmann, Head of the International Relations Office at BHF and a board member of “swiss universities”;
Emmanuel Benoist, Professor for Computer Science at BFH (BFH-TI);
Mathias Kleiner , Deputy director, International Affairs, FHS;
Peter Muller, Professor and project manager at WTT-FHS.

In Shanghai, Sanda University and Shanghai Institute of Technology hosted the delegation and generated a free discussion on the future of Chinese UAS and its internationalization. Sanda and SIT are two pioneer universities under the Chinese UAS reform initiatives.

Extended visits to Hefei University in Anhui, Shenzhen Institute of Information and Technology (SIIT) in Guangdong were also paid by BHF during the week.  New MOUs of cooperation are under discussion after the visits.

By showcasing a well-designed student consulting project, FHS also talked with Antai School of Management and Economics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Antai-SJTU), Sino-German College at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST) and School of Management at Shanghai University.  Though the comprehensive universities are not in the UAS umbrella, the practice-oriented education model also generated a lot of interest of developing different levels of cooperation including student and faculty exchange for future.

Directly after the visit of the Federal President of Switzerland, Mr. Schneider Amman who emphasized Switzerland’s interest in collaborating on vocational education and UAS reform with President Xi Jinping on April 8th, this trip was highly appreciated by the Chinese UAS which is transferring to a new model of educating professions under the reform framework.

We foresee an increasing interest from Chinese universities towards the Swiss model of integrating theoretical teaching with student practices in UAS. The potential of cooperation in this field is evaluated very large from our field work.