American Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with a delegation of senior Chinese education officials in Washington to sign a joint statement on exchange and cooperation in higher education.
The delegation was led by Madame Liu Yandong, the highest ranking woman in the Chinese government and the only female member of the Politburo and the State Council.
Liu has oversight of all programs relating to science, technology, education, culture and sports.
She and Zhou Ji, China’s Education Minister, visited Duncan’s department to learn about President Obama’s education agenda and US trends in education.
Duncan and Zhou signed two statements, one on exchange and cooperation and the other on a joint US-China work plan. The statement on cooperation encourages the sharing of information on higher education issues between institutions in both countries while the work plan sets out an agenda for cooperation in higher education, language learning and teaching, and K-12 education.
The statement on higher education said the two countries would try to foster partnerships between American and Chinese universities that could lead to joint and dual-degree programmes, student exchanges, and shared research projects.
Unversity World news reported that in the ‘work plan’ the agreement set out one way by posting links to Chinese academic-accreditation web sites on the site of the US Network for Education Information, and posting American links on Chinese sites.
As part of an effort to deepen mutual understanding of each other’s language and culture, the US Education Department will encourage development of Chinese-language and Chinese-studies courses at American universities and colleges.