Media statement by Dr Eddie Chaobo Fu, Co-Dean of the Confucius Institute at the Durban University of Technology

Talks are underway to establish the first ever Chinese-foreign joint college in partnership with the Durban University of Technology.

The proposal is to establish the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU)-Durban University of Technology (DUT) Africa College by 2016.

The proposed College, which is an education programme supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Chinese Fujian Provincial Government, aims to jointly cultivate internationlised students who can choose to work either in China or South Africa after graduation. The aim also is to introduce the elite teaching resources from DUT to improve FAFU’s academic capacities, to share FAFU’s excellent teaching and research resources and facilities with DUT for mutual benefit and to provide international student resources from China for DUT.

The Chinese Ministry of Education stipulates a “4+0 format”, meaning that students will study for four years at FAFU. DUT will however do one-third of the teaching in China. The students can also choose to study at DUT if they meet the relevant requirements at DUT. After graduation, students who have accomplished all the academic requirements will receive degree both from FAFU and DUT.

Delegates from FAFU and DUT recently met at a workshop where modules, student recruitment as well as proposed majors should the merger take place were discussed. If an agreement is reached by both parties, and if programmes are identified and the curricula modified, the College could be approved by 2016 and students recruited by September 2017. If established, the College will be the first international joint collaborative education initiative in the Chinese Fujian Province and in Africa as well.

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