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China: COSA positions as gov-industry ‘bridge’

The newly-formed China Overseas Study Association (COSA) is taking strides to position itself as a bridge between China’s government and international education bodies, providing training and building links with international organisations.

Ministry representatives and industry speakers at COSA's recent Forum on Study Abroad event.

The association will act as a "bridge" between the Ministry of Education and industry bodies, providing opportunities to reflect back the needs of the industry

COSA was formed earlier this year as a branch of the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), which was established and officially approved by China’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Civil Affairs in October 2013, and so far has 98 members in 27 cities.

The organisation recently co-organised the Forum on Study Abroad Services at the 15th China Annual Conference for International Education (CACIE) in Beijing.

At the event, Vice Chairman and Executive Secretary-General Xuewen E said COSA’s role is threefold: to “serve an auxiliary role to government” in helping to enforce regulations; provide information on policy and a channel of communication between government and organisations in the international education industry; and provide a platform for organisations to communicate.

He said the association will act as a “bridge” between the Ministry of Education and industry bodies, providing opportunities to reflect back the needs of the industry.

“We need talents who understand international practices and international rules”

During the Forum Chen Yinghui, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Educations’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, said that COSA would play a crucial role in forging links with international organisations.

“We need talents who understand international practices and international rules,” she said.

The event coincided with the launch of COSA’s new website that it will use to publicise government policies affecting study abroad and recruitment, as well as resources including a model contract for agency recruitment.

Currently the website is available only in Chinese, but E told The PIE News that he hopes to have an English version up and running soon.

COSA has also organised a ‘B2B’ workshop event enabling agents to meet representatives from foreign institutions and forge new partnerships.

The association is keen to host more events including training “to enhance the credibility of the industry”, E told Forum attendees.

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