KUNMING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- One hundred and three universities from China, South Asia and Southeast Asia have formed into an alliance to enhance regional cooperation on higher education.
The alliance includes 45 elite Chinese universities such as Renmin University of China and Fudan University. Other members of the alliance come from 14 South and Southeast Asian countries including India, Thailand and Singapore.
The alliance will hold presidents' forums on a regular basis to share their experience in school administration, establish a resource sharing platform, launch joint talent cultivation programs, and set up joint laboratories to promote international cooperation on scientific research.
"We're looking to effectively utilize the available resources to raise the quality and efficiency of higher education. One of the very important strategies for achieving this objective is greater regional cooperation among universities," said Lakshman Dissanayake, vice-chancellor of the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, in a keynote speech.
The secretariat will be based in Yunnan University and Lin Wenxun, president of Yunnan University, will serve as the first secretary-general of the alliance, according to a decision adopted by representatives for the 103 universities at a gathering held Monday in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.
Yunnan, which shares the border with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, is expected to become an important bridge connecting South and Southeast Asia.
According to Zhu Huashan, deputy head of Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Education, there are a total of 18,800 overseas students studying in Yunnan, with those from South and Southeast Asian countries making up 15,773.