SGroup discussion

It was a real pleasure to lead the discussion on how to bridge European-Chinese Higher Education cooperation at the SGroup Think Tank Academy Conference last week. The SGroup – Universities in Europe (SGroup) network is a non-profit organization founded in 1989, composed of over 42 higher education institutions from 20 European countries and 4 countries outside Europe.

In fact I’ve been engaged with a couple of separate threads of similar conversations recently. One of the things I found really interesting was how the questions of ‘why’ engage with China and ‘who(or what)’ we are engaging with were surprisingly often taken for granted.

For this SGroup presentation, I was able to squeeze in some answers regarding the second question. Economist HU Angang once famously described the situation in China as ‘one country, four worlds’. Although he was referring to the socio-economic development stages, I thought similar things could be said about China’s HE development. So I made a demo with the following slide. Naturally it is only an indicative demo. But it was useful to kick off frank and differentiated conversations about engaging with Chinese institutions.

We very briefly discussed the first question too. But, ah, time out and it’s difficult to have interactive conversations online. Maybe a topic for next year?

Anyways, I thank Philipp Dengel and Joanna Mrowiec-Denkowska for initiating this session and for introducing me to a slightly different HE community. The planning of the session three weeks leading up to the event was just as refreshing, informative and enjoyable as the 90min discussion on itself!

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