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EIT Digital CEO says to build on connection between Chinese, European universities

EIT Digital CEO says to build on connection between Chinese, European universities

Author: From:Xinhua Update:2021-10-21 20:03:13

  EIT Digital will build on the well-established connection between Chinese and European universities, EIT Digital CEO Willem Jonker has said.

  EIT Digital is a knowledge and innovation community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) headquartered in Brussels, with centers across Europe and a hub in Silicon Valley.

  It focused on entrepreneurship and integrates education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs.

  Last year "more than 500 students were enrolled in our master programs and 20 percent of students in our master school are from China," Jonker told Xinhua recently.

  According to EIT Digital's 2016 annual report, 30 students were enrolled in doctorate programs, and 20,000 people were taking online courses. Last year also saw its partnership expanding to over 130 partners of European corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), startups, universities and research institutes in 10 European countries.

  "Many of our partner universities have good relationships with Chinese universities and we will build on the well-established connection," Jonker said.

  He referred to two Chinese students, Sun Yue and Li Tianchi as "famous dropouts." The two dropped out of EIT Digital just three months before graduation and founded a startup "CodeMao" or CodeCat, a platform teaching children programming.

  They raised almost seven million euros (7.6 million U.S. dollars) in funding and are recruiting 135 employees and preparing to expand globally.

  Jonker said: "Though we would like students to stay in Europe for a while after their studies, I was happy to see that they are going back to their country and achieving success."

  EIT Digital has a post-master program that allows students to stay in the European environment for one or two years to work after they've finished their studies. However, he said the digital world was a global one and the quest for talent was also global.

  "We promote free flow of talent worldwide. The only way to attract talent is to make sure you have excellent education to attract good students," he said.

  So far, there are eight majors at EIT Digital and will expand to include one more major next year.

  "The new major will be on autonomous systems such as autonomous driving, drone technology, robots technology, or anything where machines are being combined with artificial intelligence," he said.

  The EIT is an independent body of the European Union set up in 2008 to spur innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe to overcome some of the bloc's greatest challenges.

  It brings together higher education institutions, research labs and companies to form cross-border partnerships that develop innovative products and services, start new companies, and train a new generation of entrepreneurs.

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