From 23rd to 24th of November, 2016, Professor Xu Ningsheng, President of Fudan University visited University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and extended the contract of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies for a second term of four years (2017-2021). His visit was accompanied by Dr. Zhu Chouwen, Director of the Fudan Foreign Affairs Office, Prof. Chen Wen, Dean of the School of Public Health, Dr. Zhang Yi, Executive Dean of Fudan Development Institute (FDDI) and Prof. Liu Jiping from the School of International Relations and Public Affairs. The delegation was well received at UCPH and the visit created a new chapter for Fudan Centre and generated new dynamics for Fudan-UCPH collaboration.
The delegation’s first stop was NIAS and the Fudan Centre in the afternoon of 23 November. At NIAS, Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, the Head of the Political Science Department at UCPH, warmly welcomed the delegation and applauded the accomplishment of Fudan Centre over the last three years. He suggested that there will be continued institutional support from UCPH for the consolidation of the Fudan Centre. Geir Helgesen, the Director of NIAS, introduced to the delegation the development of NIAS and how NIAS has been working with the Fudan Centre. Liu Chunrong, the Executive Vice Director of the Fudan Centre summarized the main activities of the Centre in the past three years, and presented the Centre’s strategic plan for 2017-2021. The staff of NIAS staff introduced the key functions of NIAS in providing academic infrastructure, including e-resources, students and researchers mobility, and the NIAS Press. Partners of the Fudan Centre including Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) and ThinkChina also introduced their work and cooperation with the Centre.
At UCPH’s Rector’s Office, Prof. Thomas Bjørnholm, Prorector of UCPH, gave a warm welcome to President Xu and the Fudan delegation. He acclaimed that UCPH is “the most China-focused University in Europe” and Fudan is on the top priority of UCPH’s international collaboration in both education and research. He suggested that UCPH-Fudan collaboration is a key to provide cutting-edge knowledge and better solutions to the grand challenges in our time. According to him, the Fudan Centre has brought positive dynamics to the China and Asian studies community in UCPH and has become an organic component of it. He would like to further support the development of the Fudan Centre, and he expected more productive synergies between UCPH and Fudan.
In his speech, President Xu shared Bjørnholm’s attitude towards Fudan-UCPH collaboration: “leading research Universities are at the forefront of pioneering new form of strategic partnership to help effectively tackle social challenges and drive economic growth”. In particular, he appreciated UCPH’s supportive environment for the Fudan Centre. He will continue to support the Fudan Centre as a building block of Fudan and FDDI’s global strategy and “a viable mechanism to deliver more nuanced understanding about China together with UCPH and other European partners”. In the meeting, Dr. Zhu Chouwen, Director of Fudan Foreign Affairs Office also presented Fudan’s latest initiatives for international cooperation.
Following the vivid discussion was a signing ceremony of Fudan-UCPH agreement on Fudan Centre’s second term. Attending the ceremony were UCPH academic leaders and scholars, including Troels Østergaard Sørensen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, Head of the Department of Political Science, Steffen Loft, Head of the Department of Public Health, Flemming Konradsen, Head of School of Global Health, Marie Højlund Roesgaard, Program Leader of ADI, Jørgen Delman, leader of ThinkChina, among many others.
President Xu’s visit to Copenhagen also featured meetings with Mr. Liu Biwei, the Chinese Ambassador in Denmark, and Mr. Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM). Ambassador Liu introduced the recent developments in China-Denmark cooperation in education and research. He praised the efforts of the Fudan Centre in building a closer China-Nordic relationship, and he expected the Fudan Centre to be consolidated and become a role model in the development of overseas Center for China studies. In his meeting with Dagfinn Høybråten, FDDI’s International Advisor, President Xu thanked NCM’s institutional support to both the Fudan Nordic Centre and the Fudan Centre in Copenhagen. Dagfinn regards the Fudan Centre as an important tool for China-Nordic engagement. He would like to support Fudan in promoting China-Nordic cooperation in sustainable development, education and research, social welfare, and science and innovation.