Cardiff Metropolitan University hosted a delegation from Chongming on the 15th December. The delegation consisted of senior delegates and high school presidents from: Bureau of Education Chongming, Shanghai Chongming Government Mayor Office, Shanghai Chongming High School, Shanghai Yangzi High School, and Chongming Chengqiao High School.
Chongming is the third largest island in China and is one of 16 direct districts of Shanghai, located in the north of Shanghai and approximately 40km from the city centre. Chongming is of key importance to the sustainable development of Shanghai, with a focus on eco-tourism, productive services, recreation and sports, tourism, healthcare and International education.
Earlier this year, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor Mohamed Loutfi, from Cardiff Met visited Chongming and held discussions with senior officials at the local government to explore possible future activities. In June, during the official launch of the Cardiff Met office in Beijing; Vice-Chancellor, Professor Antony Chapman, visited Chongming to continue discussions about how Cardiff Met and the city of Cardiff can play an important role in the development of their International education system from secondary to higher education.
Professor Mohamed Loutfi, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), commented on what is to be expected between the relationship between Cardiff and Chongming following this visit: 'It is hoped that as a result of this visit student exchanges, such as short term summer schools, and cooperation at multiple levels and in various areas of both secondary and higher education will help drive up education standards and contribute to the longstanding and fruitful relationship between Cardiff and Chongming.'
Shanghai tops the table in the most recent PISA results. At a networking lunch hosted by Cardiff Metropolitan University, many schools in Cardiff attended, including Whitchurch High School, Cardiff 6th Form College, The Cathedral School, and Cardiff & Vale College, where they were able to meet with their counterparts in China and share best practice.
During their visit to Cardiff, the delegation from Chongming was also hosted by Councillor Phil Bale and Nick Batchelar Director of Education at Cardiff City Council, where further discussions about exchange and the sharing of best practice took place. Councillor Phil Bale commented on the visit: 'The City of Cardiff was delighted to welcome the delegation from Chongming. We look forward to building on this relationship through the exchange of ideas between students and institutions at all levels which will bring lasting benefits in terms of improved education standards.'
Cardiff Met's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Antony Chapman, noted the strategic significance of the visit: 'Internationalisation is of paramount importance to Cardiff Met. It is important that the University works in conjunction with the local community and Cardiff City to facilitate relationships with the Chongming region to work with Cardiff City and facilitate relationships with the Chongming region to internationalise Cardiff and the wide community.'