Education exchange with Beijing
Cologne and Chinese twin city consolidate agreement
The education and training agreement between Cologne in Germany and partner city Beijing is to continue indefinitely. This agreement was reached in a video conference by Robert Voigtsberger, Deputy Mayor of Cologne with responsibility for education, young people and sport, and his Chinese counterpart Liu Yuhui. The aim of the cooperation for both cities is to intensify cooperative arrangements in the area of education and training and to expand school partnerships. More specifically, it is about supporting and consolidating the following activities:
- Exchanges for pupils, for trainees, and for young people in organisations within non-formal education settings
- Partnerships between schools from both cities
- Regular educational discussion among specialists working in schools, and in child and youth welfare
- German and Chinese language skills
- Participation on a reciprocal basis in international education and training conferences
In 2014, as part of the twinning arrangement, Cologne and Beijing signed the agreement to cooperate in the areas of school-based and vocational education and training as well as in child and youth welfare. In 2018, the education and training agreement was extended for a further four years. It forms the basis for very many successful exchange activities between school classes, vocational school students, and volunteers and youth groups in Beijing and Cologne.
Robert Voigtsberger, head of Cologne's department for education and training said the following. "By engaging closely at municipal level, we are able to provide young people in Cologne with outstanding education and training opportunities. Chinese is a skill needed for the future in commercial occupations. However dialogue at a pedagogical level is also valuable for both parties. In this way we are contributing towards intercultural exchange as well as to educational and scientific dialogue. Twinning arrangements are all about contact among people – the more we get involved, the more useful the partnership will be for the future."
The coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to in-person exchange projects, however these were continued online in some cases. As quickly as possible, both partner cities want to facilitate arrangements for meeting one another, in particular for young people, once the situation with the pandemic allows this.
Source: stadt-koeln.de (website of the German city Cologne), revised by iMOVE, April 2022