Volunteers to get training

By Liu Weifeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-07 06:51

Volunteers at the Beijing Olympics will be brought under a tailored language-training program, part of a strategic plan drawn up by educational leaders from home and abroad.

The plan also includes the online training of high-end administrative talents, and the sharing of teaching resources and research achievements, announced Hao Ping, president of Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) on Friday.

However, he didn't reveal the details of the language-training program.

Endorsed by BFSU, the University of Nottingham and U21Global, an online graduate school network, the plan aims to raise skills among volunteers and in businesses and the tourism industry in the run up to the 2008 Games.

According to China International Travel Service, during the 21 days of the Games, Beijing will host 4.8 million overseas athletes and spectators, as well as 153 million domestic visitors.

An online master's degree education will cover travel management, information technology management, business and international commerce.

Hao said e-learning is a highly efficient way to integrate teaching resources, educational services and new technology from different places.

Both Hao and Colin Campbell, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham have identified a huge education market in China's travel industry, where administrative skills remain relatively low.

"E-education is open to those who cannot attend regular full-time study but require further education," said Campbell, who has experience in exploring the educational market in China with the operation of the university's Ningbo campus in Zhejiang Province.

Mukesh Aghi, CEO of U21Global, promised a high-end global alumni network and interactive workshops for those preparing to register.

Some 3,000 students from 60 nations have registered with the network, in which participants are allowed to enjoy abundant educational resources from its 20 member universities, including Waseda University in Japan and Shanghai's Fudan University.

(China Daily 07/07/2007 page3)

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