Within the framework of the international platform for cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (16+1 cooperation Mechanism, complementary to the Belt and Road Initiative), the 5th China-CEECs Education Policy Dialogue of the Ministers of Education of those countries will be held at the University of Novi Sad, September 21, 2017. Furthermore, the 4th Meeting of China-CEECs Higher Education Institutions Consortium, gathering the rectors of the leading universities from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China, will be held the next day at the University of Novi Sad.
Mechanism 16+1 – cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC)
The international platform for cooperation between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, entitled Mechanism 16+1, was presented in April 2012 in Warsaw. Alongside China, this new form of international cooperation includes 16 European countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Czech Republic.
Mechanism 16+1 is oriented towards the coordination of the development strategies of the 17 countries and deals with cooperation in the fields of investments, infrastructure, transport, science, education, culture, tourism and agriculture, with the purpose of creating a platform for further development and growth. China has defined three potential priority areas of economic cooperation – infrastructure, advanced and ecological technologies. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences established a Think Tank, with the aim of making use of this mechanism to coordinate the collaboration between People’s Republic of China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
The summit, which is held on an annual basis, determines the main document with the guidelines of future cooperation. Currently, the guidlines adopted at the meeting in Riga (Riga Guidelines) are in effect. The previous meetings were in Suzhou in 2015, Belgrade in 2014, Romania in 2013, together with the first meeting that was held in Warsaw in 2012. The next meeting will be in Budapest in 2017. According to the RigaGuidelines, the focus of cooperation is on trade and investments, power systems engineering, science and technology, along with financial, agricultural and cultural collaboration. Apart from that, it was determined that the next 5th China-CEECs Education Policy Dialogue and the 4th Meeting of China-CEECs Higher Education Institutions Consortium would be held in one of the European countries.
Belt and Road Initiative
President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, announced in 2013 the Belt and Road Initiative, which is inspired by the ancient routes of trade and cultural exchange, the Silk Road, and which consists of the land route (Silk Road Economic Belt) and the sea route (21st Century Maritime Silk Road). The initiative is directed towards infrastructural projects that will provide additional incentive to the economic prosperity of the People’s Republic of China and the 68 countries included in it, while at the same time advancing mutual collaboration in various fields of interest. The Belt and Road Initiative connects China with Europe, through the routes that lead across the countries of central Asia, southeast Asia and eastern Europe, as well as south Asia and north Africa.
Education Policy Dialogue (EDP) and Meeting of Higher Education Institutions Consortium (HEIC)
The 1st dialogue on educational policies (Education Policy Dialog – EPD) was held in 2013 in China, with a focus on the strategies of development and education in the context of globalisation. The 2nd dialogue was held the following year, also in China, and the central topic was the reform of education. This is when the 1st meeting of the higher education institutions consortium (Higher Education Institution Consortia Meeting – HEIC) also took place.
The 3rd dialogue on educational policies and the 2nd meeting of the higher education institutions consortium was held in 2015 in Warsaw, putting forth the issues of quality and internationalisation of higher education, along with the cooperation between the industry and the higher education institutions. Beijing was the host of the 4 th education policy dialogue and the 3rd meeting of the higher education institutions consortium. The prominent topics were the inter-institutional recognition of academic credits for the purpose of enabling balanced mobility of students, strengthening of education in the field of entrepreneurship and innovations with the aim of facilitating sustainable economic and cultural development.
The Republic of Serbia will be the host of the 5th China-CEECs Education Policy Dialogue and the 4th Meeting of China-CEECs Higher Education Institutions Consortium, which are taking place of 21st and 22nd September 2017, at the University of Novi Sad.