View of China University of Petroleum-Beijing's Karamay campus in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
China University of Petroleum-Beijing is planning to recruit the first batch of foreign students in September to its Karamay campus in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, a move to promote the Belt and Road Initiative.
The campus in Karamay, which is of geographic importance in the Silk Road Economic Belt, will train high-caliber engineering talents and promote the technological and cultural communication in Central Asia, according to a guideline on the development of the new campus.
“Cultural identity is important for any cooperation. To make things happen, people working together should first identify with each other,” Zhang Laibin, president of the university, told China Daily's website on March 31.
The university's Beijing campus started a 15-day seminar on energy strategies of the Belt and Road countries on March 29.
The seminar, organized by the Academy for International Business Officials of the Ministry of Commerce, is being attended by 47 officials from the Belt and Road countries.
Statistics show that more than 20 large and mid-sized oil companies, including the China National Petroleum Corporation, the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, had oil and gas investments in countries along the Belt and Road as of the end of 2014. This presents opportunities for international cooperation in education as well.
Of the overseas students studying at the university, 80 percent are from 17 countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative. The number of students or graduates from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, for instance, has exceeded 1,000.
The students work at the forefront of the oilfield after graduation. They not only make a huge contribution to the local oil and gas industry, but help disseminate the Chinese culture and feel a sense of identity with the Chinese, said the president.
The university also provides training for Chinese companies' overseas employees, foreign companies' executives and technicians, as well as foreign government officials in the energy sector. It has held about 180 training sessions for nearly 3,000 people in more than a dozen countries along the Belt and Road, covering topics on petroleum technology, management, culture and languages.
It helped train staff from PetroKasakhstan after the Canada-registered company was acquired by CNPC in 2006. Since 2010, it has provided Chinese language training for Turkmenistan employees from CNPC's Amu Darya natural gas project.
Meanwhile, the university has dispatched more than 600 Chinese students including about 400 undergraduates and more than 200 postgraduates to the Belt and Road regions.
At a forum for university presidents in Egypt in March 2016, Zhang vowed to cooperate with higher education institutions in countries along the Belt and Road and promote sharing of premier education resources among universities.
In addition to China University of Petroleum, Beijing Foreign Studies University, a top language university, said recently it will add 11 language courses, mostly African and Oceanic tongues, to boost talent support for the country's extending ties with the regions.