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Russian University to Open Aerospace Campus in China

America’s Plight Worsens

The National Research University Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MPEI), one of Russia’s top technical and research institutions, announced that it would found and operate a campus in China’s Wenchang district.

Located on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea, the district is home to the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, one of China's four spaceports. Construction of the 137-acre campus will commence in September 2023 with classes to convene in September 2025.

News of the project was made public following Chinese president Xi Jinping’s March 2023 visit to Russia, during which he and Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed, in a joint statement, to deepen their "comprehensive strategic partnership" by strengthening the two nations’ scientific, technological, and educational ties.

The new campus will specialize in aviation and aerospace teaching and research—so state Chinese media outlets.

News of the planned MPEI campus follows a December 2022 agreement struck between the Hainan provincial government and Germany's Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (FH Bielefeld). According to a statement set forth by Chinese officials, the FH Bielefeld campus to be built in Hainan's Yangpu economic development zone will be the first foreign-run college to operate independently on Chinese soil.

FH Bielefeld, which focuses on business and engineering, will work with the province to aid "the development of advanced manufacturing, hi-tech industries, and industry specialization," the Chinese statement alleged.

Foreign educational institutes operating in the absence of local joint ventures is a rarity in China. Hainan, a free-trade port and special economic zone that offers preferential tax policies, is an exception to Chinese communist totalitarian convention.

Beijing, in the long-term, seeks to make Hainan a hub for renowned international schools.

Communist Party secretary for provincial education Cao Xiankun contended Hainan Province will focus on building an "international education and innovation hub."

In addition to allowing independently run schools, Beijing intends to co-run programs with six domestic and international institutions—after the fashion of a current cooperative effort between China’s University of Electric Science and Technology and the University of Glasgow.

Secretary Cao stated creating a "studying abroad experience" in Hainan would encourage the return of overseas "expenditure on education" and attract international students from across Southeast Asia.



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