Director-General Martine Reicherts of DG EAC Visited Soochow University

On November 16th, a delegation from the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) of the European Commission, led by Director-General Martine Reicherts, visited Soochow University. President Xiong Sidong met the delegation at Room 101of the Laura Haygood Memorial, together with the members of the standing committee of Party committee, Vice President Zhang Xiaohong, leaders in relevant departments and some teacher representatives.  

On behalf of all the students and faculty members of Soochow University, President Xiong extended a cordial welcome to Ms. Martine Reicherts and the delegation, and made a brief induction to the achievements the university has made in recent years and its current status. He pointed out that with the purpose of promoting the internationalization of the university, Soochow University has developed a series of programs and feasible measures so as to attract more excellent talents from different places of the world. Meanwhile, it also endeavors to boost intercultural communication by sending more students and teachers abroad. When speaking of the in-depth cooperation between the European Commission and Soochow University in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Program in Sustainable Management and Design for Textiles (SMDTex), President Xiong remarked that the SMDTex Programme should serve as a typical model for a joint talent cultivation mode between top universities in different countries. And he hoped that the two parties could deepen related cooperation in similar programs.

After the meeting, Ms. Martine Reicherts made a keynote speech titled "the effect of education in Sino-EU relations" at Dongwu Auditorium of Kenneth Wang School of Law, with Vice President Zhang Xiaohong serving as the host. And she also made an on-site communication with the teachers and student representatives from Dongwu Business School, the School of Foreign Languages, and the College of Textile and Clothing Engineering.

In the keynote speech, Ms. Martine Reicherts introduced the effects of cultural and educational exchanges between China and the European Union to the community of both sides, and expressed her assumptions and expectations to cooperation between the universities in China and the Union under the Erasmus Mundus Program. She pointed out that as the educational programs in both sides developvigorously, many European students are now willing to study in China, and vice versa. Now, at the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus Mundus Program, she hoped that both sides could deepen and extend the cooperation in education and bestow the students in China and the European Union with high-quality learnings. Besides, she also claimed that the SMDTex Programme of the European Union has actually witnessed the development of educational cooperation between China and EU in recent years, and laid a solid foundation for Soochow University, an indispensable partner in the cultural exchanges between China and EU, attending the Erasmus Mundus Program. Starting with her own learning and working experiences, Ms. Martine Reicherts encouraged the teachers and students presented to develop a global vision, and strengthen their adaptability and flexibility by sticking to the motto of "live and learn". At the end of the speech, she urged the students to participate in the educational cooperation program between China and EU by quoting the words of Gandhi, saying "You must be the change you want to see in the world".

Afterwards, a symposium for the overseas students under the SMDTex Programme was held in Meeting Room B201 of Kenneth Wang School of Law. When asked about the living and learning conditions here in China, the members under the program told Ms. Martine Reicherts that they were very satisfied with the professional courses, Chinese language courses and culture courses set by Soochow University. After communicating with these students in simple Chinese, the delegation spoke highly of the students' preserves in Chinese language, and encouraged them to master the language and contribute to the cultural exchanges between China and the European Union.