Great interest for 'Denmark Day' in Chengdu

The host at 'Denmark day' in Chengdu
VIA University College recently co-hosted Denmark Day in Chengdu. 180 public and private educators and investors showed up to celebrate ties between China and Denmark.

On September 25th, the Municipality of Chengdu invited the Municipality of Horsens and VIA University College to co-host Denmark Day. The initiative was a result of increased ties between the fast-growing city of Chengdu and Denmark. More than 180 Chinese educators, investors and officials participated. 

In her opening speech, Ms Lyu Tianyi, Vice Director General of Chengdu Municipal Foreign Affairs Office said that Chengdu is working hard to become a modern and international city. “The internationalization of Chengdu is highly dependent on building strong relationships with partners such as Horsens and VIA University College in Denmark. I am certain, Denmark Day will add to the success of this cooperation,” Ms Lyu Tianyi said. 

60 years of Danish-Chinese collaboration 

Denmark Day was a part of Chengdu’s celebration of European Month, aimed at strengthening the city’s relationship with partners across Europe. Horsens recently entered an official sister city agreement with Chengdu – a partnership that works on the governmental as well as institutional level.  

On the national level, the Danish and Chinese Ministers of Health as well as the Ministers of Higher Education have signed memorandums of understanding that facilitates cooperation between the countries in areas such as eldercare and education. 

“Denmark and China has had diplomatic relationships through 60 years. Today, we are here to strengthen the relationship on a regional level, between Chengdu and Horsens,” said Anja Villefrance, Danish Consul General in Chongqing. She stressed that the Consulate will do its best to aid the partnership between the two cities. 

Horsens is a good friend 

Sino-Danish collaborations are in large part driven by organizations. Within education, VIA University College years ago partnered with three universities in Chengdu - Chengdu University, Sichuan University and Sichuan Normal University - to develop double-degree programmes, including student exchange. 

VIA has a large campus in Horsens and hence plays an important role in facilitating the relationship between Horsens and Chengdu. Director of Culture in Horsens, Hanne Damgaard, stressed VIAs importance in bringing the two cities together. 

“I already feel like Horsens is a good friend of Chengdu. Despite our young relationship, I see great opportunities for mutual activities within culture, education and business development – and VIA plays an important role in this development,” Hanne Damgaard said. 

Horsens and VIA share new office in Chengdu 

Since 2009, VIA has focused on developing partnerships in Chengdu, and in 2011 the first VIA office was established. 

“The relationships we have built in Chengdu over the last three years are very important to us,” said Rikke Nielsen, Director of International Relations at VIA University College, in her speech on Denmark Day. 

Earlier this month, Horsens and VIA University College opened a new joint office at the EUPIC Center in Chengdu. From here, they will continue to develop projects with Chinese partners. 

“We experience a growing interest from public and private organizations to develop educational programmes and exchange knowledge with VIA. As such, I think Denmark and China share a lot of common interests, such as education,” Rikke Nielsen said. 

Chengdu invests in preschool education 

Denmark Day included a seminar on preschool education, an area in which the Chinese central government and the Municipality of Chengdu currently invests heavily. Speakers were associate professor at the Faculty of Social Studies at VIA University College, Claus Iversen; Han Dongchuan, senior trainer at Lego Education, and representatives of public and private preschools in Chengdu. 

For more information, please contact:

Rikke Nielsen Director of international relations
VIA University College
T: +45 8755 1502
E: rikn@viauc.dk

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