In August 2014, the architectural firm Zeso Architects and VIA University College signed a contract with a Chinese real-estate company to design and educate employees for a private nursing home in China.
”This contract between the Danish partners and Chongqing Changqing Real Estate Co., Ltd. is unique and shows that Denmark is truly starting to become known in China in the field of elderly care. This is a great accomplishment, not just for VIA University College, but also for Denmark. The agreement opens up for new export opportunities for Danish educational institutions and for companies,” says Anja Villefrance, Danish consul general in Chongqing.
Management, education and quality assurance
According to the deal, VIA is to recruit a Danish nursing home manager and educate Chinese 85 employees. For a period of 3 years, VIA is to perform quality assurance on the care and service which the nursing home offers to its 105 residents.
This is the largest contract that the university college has signed for the export of Danish elder care. VIA has already sold courses in the field of educational theory and practice in China.
”This is the first time we have agreed to be in charge of management, education and quality assurance of a nursing home. We hope that the agreement will become a model to show how we as a Danish educational education can export knowledge to China,” says Aase Lydiksen, Director of VIA's Faculty of Health Sciences.
She emphasises that the Chinese developer chose Danish architects and is looking to buy welfare technology from Danish companies such as Pressalit Care and Guldmann.
Cooperation with Chinese architects
The 15,000 m2 luxury nursing home, which will be a part of a large residential area at Ba Yue Lake 80 kilometres from Chongqing, is designed by Zeso Architects from Denmark. In addition to the nursing home, the area consists of luxury hotels and recreational areas.
Zeso has two employees stationed in Chongqing, where they have been working with Chinese colleagues from Yuandao Architects.
”We can see how important it is to have employees in China who can work with the Chinese from the preliminary design stage. Even though China has a large interest in Danish welfare solutions, there are also certain Chinese conditions which must be incorporated,” says creative director at Zeso Architects, Torben Juul.
The Chinese real-estate company expects to attract the elderly by advertising for Denmark’s extensive knowledge within elderly care. In an 8 minute promotional video, the company stresses the fact that the Danes were chosen as the happiest people in the world – we know how to take care of the elderly.
The Danish system makes exporting difficult
One of the Danish companies that have been invited to join the project is Pressalit Care, which sells products to furnish homes for people with a reduced functional capacity.
According to sales director Hans Løve Høegh, the nursing home could be a showcase for Danish welfare technology. However, he believes that the Danish system for elderly care - which is mostly run by public sector - makes it difficult to export to markets such as the Chinese.
”Danish nursing homes are run by the public sector in Denmark. But it’s excellent that an educational institution like VIA brings together public and private actors. It offers greater opportunities in exporting to China,” says Hans Løve Høegh.
Buys specialist knowledge within aging and rehabilitation
The educational programme for the 85 nursing staff members is planned for two levels – a basic care level and an advanced level, where the nursing staff will learn about rehabilitation, dementia and nutrition among other things.
”The contract is very comprehensive. In addition to educating staff, the Danish nursing home manager will contribute in implementing the knowledge that VIA's educators will bring to China. It is important to us that the Chinese employees deliver a standard which we as a Danish educational institution can vouch for,” says Aase Lydiksen.
For further information, please contact:
Aase Lydiksen, director
VIA Faculty of Health Sciences
T: +45 87 55 29 60
Anja Villefrance, Consul General in Chongqing
T: +86 23 6372 6600
Torben Juul, Creative Director
T: +45 28 57 55 57
Facts about the agreement
- Chongqing Changqing Real Estate Company will build a nursing home in Ba Yue Lake, approx. 80 km from Chongqing. In addition to the luxury nursing home, this area consists of several five-star hotels, schools and recreational areas.
- The nursing home will be 15,000 m2 large and will have room for 105 residents. It has been designed by the Danish architectural firm, Zeso Architects, www.zeso.dk
- The nursing home will open in 2017.
- VIA University College will deliver a nursing home manager and perform quality assurance on the care given by the staff. Before the opening of the nursing home, VIA will educate 85 employees.
- The education will be managed by educators from VIA and by VIA's Chinese partner, the well-reputed university, Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences.
- See a video about the nursing home in Ba Yue Lake.
Facts about VIA
- VIA University College is Denmark’s largest university of applied sciences with 18,500 students.
- VIA offers 42 bachelor degree programmes, among others: teachers, social educators, engineers, designers, film animators, nurses, social workers and physiotherapists.
- VIA offers continuing education through diploma programmes, conferences, and tailormade courses.
- VIA is rapidly developing internationally, through double degree programmes, export of education and knowhow, research and development and the exchange of students and employees.
- VIA works in close cooperation with companies, authorities and public organisations in Denmark and internationally.
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