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Belt and Road Initiative offers more opportunities for students

By Zhang Zefeng | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-26 07:22

Belt and Road Initiative offers more opportunities for students

Ma Zhuang [Photo provided to China Daily]

Innovation harbor

Israel-unlike Singapore-traditionally is not a country where most Chinese students choose to study.

"It's largely because of safety concerns and its immigration policy-Israel is not an immigration destination for non-Jewish immigrants," says Wang Yu, director of the Institute of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Peking University.

Its recent popularity among Chinese students is related to its innovative and entrepreneurial environment, and the closer academic ties, which include scholarships and exchange programs, between the two countries, she says.

"Chinese students will not only be able to adopt its rigorous academic approach but also acquire cutting-edge scientific knowledge" says Wang.

Shandong province native Ma Zhuang enrolled in Hebrew University of Jerusalem with full scholarship after graduating from Zhejiang University and decided to study 3-D printing.

"It's an innovative technology in the manufacturing sector that has a promising future," says the 25-year-old master's student.

Ma takes intensive courses related to computer vision, mechanical engineering and material science.

Last year, his professor offered him a chance to spend four months as a visiting student at a lab in Columbia University, where he wrote computer programs for a 3-D printing system.

"I worked with a leading professor in our field," he says. "It was inspirational."

In a bio-design class, he was asked to team up with students from other majors to conduct marketing research, draft business plans, and design and demonstrate products to the investors.

Cooperation between China and Israel driven by the Belt and Road Initiative has deepened in such areas as basic science, modern agriculture and clean energy.

Ma founded a consulting startup with an Israeli schoolmate.

"We connect Chinese investors with Israeli companies," says Ma.

"We also help Israeli companies to find potential Chinese partners and devise strategies to enter our market."

The company has established relationships with around 80 Israeli startups and received three Chinese delegations.

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