Estonia and China signed the new Education Partnership Programme 2017-2022 that covers student exchanges and granting of scholarships, teaching of language, culture and history on mutual basis, and youth exchanges.
The Deputy Secretary General for Youth and Foreign Relations Madis Lepajõe noted that cooperation with China has intensified in the recent years. “We took a big step two years ago when Estonia and China signed the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Diplomas and Qualifications which the universities had longed for,” said Lepajõe. “Cooperation on language training is essential too. In China, one can learn Estonian in two different establishments. In Estonia, Chinese is taught in two universities, language schools, and about ten general education schools.”
According to the new agreement on education partnership, China will annually grant three national scholarships to Estonian applicants for Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral studies in Chinese colleges or universities. Likewise, Estonia annually provides three equivalent scholarships to applicants from China. Further, both countries provide each other one annual summer course grant for learning their language and culture. To foster youth exchanges, each country will invite youth delegations from the other for one-week visits.
The new Education Partnership Programme between Estonia and China is based on the 1993 Agreement on Cultural, Education and Research Cooperation between the two countries.
- In Estonia, one can specialise in Chinese language and culture in the Tallinn University, or learn Chinese in the University of Tartu or a number of language schools. In 2010, the Confucius Institute was opened at the Tallinn University to serve as the centre of Chinese language and culture.
- A total of 234 students are learning Chinese in Estonia’s general education schools in the 2016/17 academic year.
- In China, Estonia is taught in the Beijing Foreign Studies University which, since 2011, employs a lecturer seconded from Estonia. Another university (Beijing International Studies University) is about to start teaching Estonian.
- China is one of the priority targets of the programme Study in Estonia, and the number of Chinese foreign students acquiring formal education in Estonian higher education institutions has risen to 109 in the 2016/17 academic year.
- China is interested in Estonian students - on 18 May, Hotel Euroopa in Tallinn will host the Education Fair where representatives from 15 institutions of higher education will talk about the possibilities of acquiring education in China.
- Research cooperation was addressed in this April’s special Chinese edition of EURAXESS - European Commission’s network to promote the mobility of researchers.