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French training expertise helps lift the country's civil aviation sector

China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-03 09:50
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Huo Baiming, 25, is poised to receive his master's degree from the Civil Aviation University of China and an engineering certificate from a French institute in July.

After that, he will settle in Shanghai and work for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, a leading civil aircraft research, development and manufacturing company.

"I'm glad to gain a wealth of bilateral education resources," Huo says.

The Tianjin-based Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering, where Huo has studied for almost seven years, was co-founded by the Civil Aviation University of China and GEA France, or Le Groupement des Ecoles Aeronautiques et Spatiales, in 2007.

This was the first time China introduced France's engineering school system, created by the French emperor Napoleon, to its domestic aviation industry.

Yang Xinsheng, the dean of the institute, says they integrated France's engineering school system into their daily teaching model. And general courses such as mathematics, physics and French, as well as professional courses related to aeronautical engineering technology and management are taught by a group of teachers from the Chinese side and around 50 teachers from the French side.

"Students need to finish about 5,500 credit hours before graduating," says Yang. "And through years of intensive learning, our students are knowledgeable both in languages and engineering."

Joél Flahaut has been teaching at the institute for over 11 years. And, he says international cooperation in the field of aviation is essential and brings mutual benefits to both sides.

"I hope to introduce more advanced knowledge to Chinese students and cultivate more talented people with professional competence and international perspectives."

As of 2019, more than 350 graduates are working in China's civil aviation industry. And among them, five graduates now work as engineers in Airbus (Tianjin) Final Assembly Co Ltd, a Chinese cabin installation and delivery base for the A320 and A330 models.

Liu Chang from the company's human resources office says they are more than capable of providing tailored technical solutions and improving efficiency in aircraft delivery.

An array of teachers and students at the institute now offer technical support in several important aviation research and development projects in China.

Speaking about the initiative, Bai Jie, the vice-president of the university, says: "We hope our students can contribute more to China's civil aviation industry."

Bilateral trade between China and France exceeded $60 billion last year, marking a record high. And as for the future, Gao Feng, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, says China will continue to deepen cooperation with France in many areas such as civil aviation, and push forward the bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a new level.


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