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VUB signs collaboration agreements with Chinese top-level institutions

Chinese delegationOn Monday 31 March, VUB signed several collaboration agreements with prestigious Chinese universities and organisations during an official ceremony on the Etterbeek campus.  The agreements will lead to jointly organised study programmes and the creation of a mutual laboratory in ‘audio visual signal processing’. The event was also the starting point for BACES: the Brussels Academy for China-European Studies, which is a new academic platform in Brussels. Delegations from Renmin University of China, Sichuan University, Fudan University, Northwestern Polytechnical University, the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and Huawei Technologies were present for the event on our VUB campus.

High-level delegation

Several agreements were signed by four presidents and two vice presidents of Chinese higher education institutions during the ceremony. The distinguished guests were in Brussels because of the official visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping.

The signing ceremony took place in the Promotiezaal at building D. The signing itself was preceded by a welcoming speech by VUB Rector Paul De Knop, a speech by the Flemish Minister of Education Pascal Smet and by Mr. Geoffroy Clerckx from the Brussels Capital Region, and a video speech from Ms. Ingrid Lieten, Flemish Minister for Innovation. The presidents and vice presidents of the Chinese universities and the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) took their turn on stage as well, as did Mr. Leo Sun, President of Huawei Technologies’ Brussels Office and West-EU Public Affairs of the Chinese telecommunications concern Huawei. Mr. Sun was present at VUB to inaugurate the Huawei Chair for Contemporary China Studies with Huawei Technologies and the Brussels Academy for China-European Studies.

In all the speeches the ambition was expressed to continue working on an open dialogue between policy makers and academic authorities on both the Western and the Chinese side. This dialogue contributes to mutual understanding of each other’s perspectives. Collaboration will clearly benefit from this effort.

Prestigious award for Prof. Dr. Jan Cornelis

The final speech was reserved for Prof. Dr. Jan Cornelis. VUB’s vice rector International Policy has been a catalyst in the interaction between VUB and Chinese education and research institutions. For his work he was awarded the Sanqin Friendship Award by the Chinese province of Shaanxi. This prize is the highest distinction awarded to a foreign specialist for contributing to the Shaanxi region’s economic and social development.

In the Shaanxi province the Northwestern Polytechnic University is located, which VUB forms as from now a so-called Privileged International Partnership (PIP) with. Both universities will join forces in a structural institutional partnership.

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The ceremony was concluded with a group picture in open air on VUB’s green campus in Etterbeek. After this moment, the delegation took a special bus to the Bozar art center downtown for lunch. A well-chosen destination, considering the newly signed agreement between VUB and the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing to mutually launch art projects. The delegation members could then enjoy a tour at Bozar in presence of Mr. Paul Dujardin (Bozar) and Prof. Dr. Hans De Wolf (VUB).

In the meantime, a select group of VUB people and delegation members headed to Brussels’ Egmont Palace for an official state ceremony and official dinner at the Royal Palace afterwards.

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