Fudan University Forges Southeast Asian Partnerships
13 Feb, 2019  |  Source:China Daily  |  Hits:2731

Jiao Yang (fourth from left), Fudan University's chancellor, and Saphonn Vonthanak, rector of Cambodia's University of Health Sciences, shake hands after signing an agreement in January. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Fudan University has signed agreements on a slew of strategic partnerships with Southeast Asian education institutions and government agencies in January to bolster the Belt and Road Initiative through academic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

The Shanghai-based university signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities of Vietnam National University, Hanoi, pledging to conduct joint research and strengthen collaboration on faculty and student communication, lectures and meetings, and academic publications.

The duo also agreed to enhance youth exchanges in countries in the Lancang-Mekong region and promote cultural and heritage preservation, a substantial step toward implementing the Belt and Road Initiative.

During a visit to Cambodia's Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap, Fudan's chancellor, Jiao Yang, says the university is poised to leverage its talent and academic prowess in museology and make due contributions to the agency in the preservation of cultural relics.

On the medical front, Fudan University signed a memorandum of understanding with Cambodia's University of Health Sciences and vowed to deepen cooperation in scientific research, educational training and talent cultivation in areas such as clinical medicine, pharmaceuticals, nursing and public health.

Action plans include establishing a center for global health, conducting joint research projects and promoting exchange programs for faculty members and students through various initiatives.

The move also came at a time when bilateral relations were enhanced after leaders of the two countries met in Beijing in January and pledged to deepen cooperation in education and youth exchanges.

"The agreement marks one of the latest implementations of the strategic consensus reached between our state leaders," Jiao said during the signing ceremony in Phnom Penh.

Noting that health is a prerequisite of people's comprehensive wellbeing and the basis for sound social and economic development, Jiao says the deal serves as a window of opportunity to carry out more tangible collaboration derived from the BRI.

The Chinese delegation also visited UHS' simulated-teaching centers and watched students practice suturing techniques.

"I hope that, through this memorandum, our two universities will work together closely for our common interests and follow in the footsteps of our leaders and the long and outstanding friendship between the two countries and their people," says Saphonn Vonthanak, rector of UHS.

Fudan University's Shanghai Medical College is on course to become a world-class institution, with its affiliated hospitals forming international partnerships with top-tier medical schools, and its clinical medicine discipline close to ranking within the top 0.1 percent in the Essential Science Indicators, a database of emerging science trends, according to the school's website.