State Secretary Martina Hirayama receives Chinese Vice Minister for Education

Bern, 03.07.2023 - Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation met with Chinese Vice Minister for Education on 3 July 2023 for a bilateral discussion on relations between the two countries in the area of higher education and vocational education and training.

The discussion between State Secretary Martina Hirayama and Vice Minister Wu Yan focussed on professional education, mobility and the respective higher education system in Switzerland and China. The meeting was a good opportunity to prepare for the next Sino-Swiss Joint Working Group (JWG) on Education. In 2012, a bilateral agreement was signed for the purpose of strengthening cooperation in the area of higher education. Since 2014, JWG meetings between the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Chinese Ministry of Education have taken place at regular intervals on the basis of this agreement. These meetings serve as a platform for the sharing of information, discussion of current challenges and networking in the field of education. After a long hiatus during the Corona period, the next meeting is expected to be held in China in 2024.

In addition to the previously mentioned bilateral agreement on education, there is another agreement in force that the Swiss Confederation and the People's Republic of China signed back in 1989 on scientific and technological cooperation. By virtue of this agreement, Switzerland was able to open a Swissnex location in Shanghai in 2008. As a part of Switzerland's global network for education, research and innovation, Swissnex contributes to deeper cooperation between the two countries. The enactment of two new data protection laws in China in 2021 has now raised new questions among Swiss education and research stakeholders. SERI intends to work with China to find possible solutions. At the meeting with the Chinese Vice Minister for Education, State Secretary Hirayama underscored the importance of freedom of research and teaching as a fundamental prerequisite for successful cooperation in all international cooperation endeavours. Given the latest global challenges, international cooperation in education, research and innovation is essential.

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State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
+41 58 485 67 74


State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation