School's in for first overseas campus
Updated: 2013-06-17 07:52
By Luo Wangshu,Cao Yin,Wang Hongyi (China Daily)
International students at Xiamen University watch a demonstration at a pottery factory during a tour of Fujian's Dehua city, which is famous for ceramic production. The college has about 200 Malaysian students.
Benefits for Malaysian students
China can increase its soft power and international influence through overseas campuses, while for Malaysian students it will mean more choice.
"Not everyone can afford to study abroad. Some of my classmates have to work first and save money for overseas study later," student Loke said. "But the triviality and difficulties in life sometimes destroy their ambitions and many young people have to leave their dreams behind, which is sad.
"However, if a good overseas university such as Xiamen University can open a campus in Malaysia, it's a great opportunity for many Malaysian students to taste a global education."
Bong Meen Szer, another Malaysian student at Xiamen University, is also excited the school is going to open a campus in her homeland.
"It is good news for Malaysian students that another prestigious overseas university is coming to our country, providing more choice," she said.
Ong Ka Ting, the Malaysian prime minister's special envoy to China and a visiting professor at Xiamen University, said he believes the educational establishment has a great reputation in Malaysia, according to the People's Daily.
He also speaks highly of Xiamen University's soft power, saying it represents China's global influence and that it will benefit Malaysian students.
However, diplomas provided by Chinese educational authorities are not recognized by Malaysian government departments.
"If this practical problem cannot be solved urgently and well, the campus will be affected to some extent," said Song at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
Xu at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences also raised concerns on this issue, saying Xiamen University must pay attention to race problems in Malaysia during the establishment of its campus.
"In Malaysia there are different attitudes to local Chinese people," he said. "Some local Chinese children cannot get a good education, even if they get good marks at school.
"Although the campus establishment will satisfy these people's demands, it should also be careful about the teaching being in conflict with local race policies."
In addition, if there are good faculties in Malaysia and teachers want to be employed by this campus, they should be given priority status, he said, adding: "All in all, the key to building a campus overseas lies in having an open attitude."
Although thrilled for her younger classmates who cannot afford to study overseas but will soon be able to receive an original education from China in the near future, Loke said she will stay in China as an international student.
"As a Chinese major student, I can visit attractions that I have read about in Chinese poems. But maybe for some majors such as mass media or biology, it's wiser and cheaper to stay in the homeland," she added.
Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Sun Li in Fujian contributed to this story.