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The Consul General of China in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu delivers a speech at the Chinese Higher Education Expo held in Kolkata, India on May 10, 2018. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]

The second edition of the "Chinese Higher Education Expo" concluded in Kolkata, capital city of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal on May 11 to enhance higher education cooperation between India and China.

The Consulate General of China in Kolkata in cooperation with the School of Chinese Language in the city held the two-day event at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre on May 10 and 11. As many as 62 well-known Chinese universities from 11 provinces and municipalities participated in the event.

The two-day Expo was aimed at creating a platform where Indian students can get to know about China's higher education and acquire information about studying in China, allowing them to explore the possibility of pursuing high quality yet affordable higher education in China.

The participating Chinese universities at the expo included Nanjing University, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Sichuan University of Science and Technology and Northeast Normal University. On their part, the universities publicized their achievements, seeking Indian partners for cooperation for their diverse courses, spot admission assessments, and substantial scholarships for Indian students.

The Expo was held as part of the on-going effort of the Chinese Consulate to promote cultural and educational exchanges between China and India with a special focus on West Bengal.

The Chinese government has set a target to attract half a million foreign students by 2020. More importantly, China recently dropped its work experience requirement for foreign postgraduates, opening a floodgate of opportunities, especially to international students pursuing higher education degrees in China.

Talking about the initiative, Chinese Consul General Ma Zhanwu said, "There is a good flow of Indian students into China, especially in the field of science and technology. Hundreds of Indians are pursuing IT education in China. Lately, many have shown interest in artificial intelligence in Chinese universities. We hope this expo will help these students."

For the ease of the students, the Chinese Consulate in Kolkata has provided an on-the-spot visa enquiry service with expedient processing facilities. "The students will get admission into Chinese universities based on their performance in Indian institutes, and no entrance test will be required for enrolment," Ma said.

In recent years, China has drawn increasing number of Indian students, making it the fastest growing destination for Indian students for further studies. According to a survey by the Center for China and Globalization in 2017, the number of Indian students studying in China has increased by more than 20 percent on average.

According to Ma, around 18,000 Indian students are currently studying in China, including a few hundred from West Bengal. On the other hand, only 2,000 Chinese students are studying in India. So, he called for a rise in the numbers. According to figures from May 2017, there were 2,914 colleges and universities in China with over 20 million students.

But what makes China the most interesting destination for India's students today is the low costs and easier admissions of Chinese universities which also have excellent infrastructure and facilities. Furthermore, China is also physically closer to India, taking about two hours to travel from Kolkata to Kunming, China. Most importantly, with the rapidly growing China-India relations, studying in China can bring more opportunities for the Indian students in the years to come.

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Performance at the Chinese Higher Education Expo. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]

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Performance at the Chinese Higher Education Expo. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]

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Performance at the Chinese Higher Education Expo. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]

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The Chinese Higher Education Expo is held in Kolkata, India on May 10-11, 2018. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]

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The Chinese Higher Education Expo is held in Kolkata, India on May 10-11, 2018. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]

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Rabi Sankar Bosu, an Indian contributor for China.org.cn, introduces the website to a visitor. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]

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The Chinese Higher Education Expo is held in Kolkata, India on May 10-11, 2018. [Photo by Rabi Sankar Bosu/China.org.cn]