On October 19th, 2020 NNU President Guoxiang Chen and Vice President Lixin Tian met with the French Ambassador to China Laurent Bili, Consul General of the Consulate General of the Republic of France in Shanghai, Benoît Guidée, Consul (political) and Head of Press, Marianne Ziss, and two other officials, in the Alliance française de Nankin (French Alliance of Nanjing).
President Chen expressed a warm welcome to the officials, and made an introduction of NNU’s history, strengths, and new achievements in international cooperation and exchanges during the recent years. NNU has cooperated with prestigious French colleges and universities, such as Bordeaux Montaigne University and ESC Rennes School of Business to boost educational exchanges, he noted. He also hoped that the visit made by Ambassador Bili will create more opportunities to cooperate in education with École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and more universities in France. Ever since the Alliance française de Nankin was established in 2001, NNU has given it staunch support and helped to organize various high-quality cultural exchange activities. 2021 marks the 20thanniversary of the founding of the alliance and that is when NNU plans to host a celebration with plans to invite Ambassador Bili and other French officials to come back to NNU.
“The educational cooperation and exchangeswith a solid foundation and in diversified formsbetween NNU and French colleges and universities, have delivered fruitful outcomes”, Vice President Lixin Tian said. He made an expectation that this visit would lead to the expansion of areas and modes of cooperation for a much closer partnership with France in such areas like establishing Sino-French joint schools.
Ambassador Bili thanked NNU and the Alliance française de Nankin for their gracious hospitality, as well as the constant close cooperation between NNU and the alliance. He will continue to focus on the new progress in the alliance’s work, provide necessary assistance to help it overcome the pandemic, especially by expanding the student pool and encourage students to develop further through concerted efforts from both countries. Then, he expressed gratitude for President Chen’s gracious invitation, and his willingness to participate in celebration activities at the 20th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Alliance française de Nankin in 2021. Meanwhile, he fully recognized the great results brought about from the exchanges and cooperation between NNU and French universities in recent years, and was ready to enable the further partnership, build a communication platform for closer cooperation in higher education for both countries going forward.
The heads of the Office of President, the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, and the Alliance française de Nankin also attended the meeting.