China’s Education Minister Chen Baosheng visits Waseda and gives a special talkMon, Apr 2, 2018
On March 22, China’s Education Minister Chen Baosheng visited Waseda University and gave a special talk at the Okuma Small Auditorium.
In a warm conversation before the talk, President Kaoru Kamata gave special mention to the long exchange between Waseda and China, which started since 1899 when the University took in its first international students from China. Moreover, there was even a point of time when Chinese students made up approximately 20 percent of the whole student population at Waseda University. This friendly relationship between Waseda and China was later further deepened when many of the Chinese graduates went on to contribute significantly to the modernization of China. In the conversation, President Kamata also introduced the Kosekicho to the Education Minister Chen, in which students from the School of Chinese Students (established in 1905) wrote poems and drew paintings to commemorate their graduation.
From China’s Education Minister Chen Baosheng
China and Waseda University share a deep relationship and many Chinese know the name of Waseda.
For over a hundred of years, Waseda University has stood firm on its founding principles while fusing and harmonizing cultures from the East and West. In addition to many renowned leaders and seven prime ministers of Japan, Waseda University has also produced a notable number of Japanese graduates who actively helped promote good relationship between China and Japan, such as Toten Miyazaki, Inejiro Asanuma, and Kenzo Matsumura. Moreover, Liao Zhongkai, Li Dazhao, Chen Duxiu as well as other eminent figures that led China’s revolutions in modern times were also graduates of Waseda.
Taking this opportunity, I would like express my sincere respect and admiration for Waseda University. On this stage filled with traditions, it is an honor to give a talk about China’s education in modern times, Sino-Japanese academic exchange as well as other topic of interests surrounding the two countries.
Working towards the next chapter of Sino-Japanese academic exchange
On the theme “Working towards the next chapter of Sino-Japanese academic exchange,” China’s Education Minister Chen Baosheng took the audience back to the history of the long academic exchange between the two countries when speaking about his wishes for the future in his talk.
“In today’s China, there are about 270 million students from elementary schools to universities, as well as 16 million teaching staff. Within just a short few decades, China has made rapid progress and development, and the country’s employment rate now stands above the average of mid-high income countries,” said China’s Education Minister Chen Baosheng when speaking about China’s current state of educational progress.
“Ever since China and Japan restored diplomatic relations, the academic exchange of the two countries has reached a whole new level never seen before. 1979 was the year when China sent its first batch of students on government scholarships to Japan. In just about a decade, Japan has seen an increasing number Chinese international students going to the country each year, making up over 40 percent of Japan’s international student population in 2017, the highest number of any country,” remarked Education Minister Chen as he emphasized on the close academic exchange between the two countries. In addition, Education Minister Chen also added that he looks forward to the bilateral collaboration between the two countries in 1) building world-class educational institutions, 2) developing innovative human resources, 3) promoting youth exchange and 4) creating a community of shared future for mankind.
In 2016, Waseda University took in 7,156 international students and sent out 4,086 students from the University to overseas institutions. Waseda will continue to work towards being a global research university, for instance through increasing its international student intake and sending its students abroad to gain overseas experience. Additionally, the University also has plans to further enhanced its relationships and broaden its exchange agreements in the future with research institutions and universities in China, as well as other countries.