Hohai University steps up efforts to lure B&R students
Hohai University is emerging as a hit destination for students from the countries involved in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
"To cultivate a group of talents familiar with conditions of their own countries and China is of particular importance to implement the BRI," said Tang Hongwu, secretary of the Party committee of the university.
Official data show that the number of foreign students in Hohai surged from 285 in 2010 to 1,317 in 2017.
In bid to lure more students from the B&R countries, Hohai expanded its enrollment capacity for foreign students and set up a special scholarship targeting the group.
With a history of more than a century, the university, located in Nanjing, capital city of East China's Jiangsu province, has gained a worldwide reputation for research and education in the field of water conservancy.
The university has also formed partnerships with local government and businesses to jointly cultivate the highly-skilled workers of future in fields such as water conservancy and hydropower, revealed Zhang Haijun, dean of Hohai's School of International Education.
Its collaboration with Electricite du Laos helped the country cultivate 60 talents for developing local hydropower while the cooperation with China Harbour Engineering Co saw the training of 16 undergraduates for countries like Papua New Guinea, Angola, Namibia and Jamaica.
In May, Hohai inked cooperative agreements with 13 Jiangsu-based companies with overseas business operations, presenting foreign students more opportunities of internship and employment in both China and their countries.
"It is quite easy for me to find the job I want thanks to the university-corporation cooperation mechanism," said Shabir Ahmad Ahmadi, an Afghan student working in a Chinese company.
Alkayem Nizar, a Hohai PhD candidate in engineering mechanics from Syria, won China's national scholarship for outstanding foreign students in 2018 due to his exceptional academic performance.
"It is the BRI that provided me with the opportunity of studying at Hohai," said Nizar, adding that he will contribute more to closer links between Syria and China.
First proposed in 2013, the BRI is a national key project for building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.