A Memorandum of Understanding was inked between the Ministry of Education and Ningbo Municipal Government on Feb 18 in Beijing to promote the educational cooperation among countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

It marks a milestone for Ningbo in its building of a comprehensive experimental zone for BRI construction and its deepening of education opening-up to the outside world.

According to the memorandum, the Ministry of Education will instruct the Ningbo government to formulate a strategic plan on education opening-up, and support the city in its educational cooperation with other countries in aspects such as running overseas schools and attracting exchange students to Ningbo.

Ningbo has had broad educational cooperation with many BRI countries and regions over the past years. It has conducted educational exchanges with central and eastern European countries (CEECs) by hosting the annual China (Ningbo) CEEC Educational Cooperation Conference since 2014, inked nearly 100 cooperative agreements with BRI countries and regions, and established many overseas schools, such as the Sino-Africa (Benin) Vocational Education and Training Center in Benin.

Students from BRI countries and regions now account for nearly 60 percent of all foreign students in Ningbo.

In addition, Ningbo has established the nation’s first “Belt and Road” alliance for industry and education collaboration to promote vocational education in BRI countries and supply more skilled workers for Chinese companies in these countries.