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CAAS offers boutique PhD education

Source: China Daily

  Over 50 international PhD students from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) visited the CAAS-Daxing International Cooperation Base for Agricultural Research and Development (CDICB) in southern Beijing on Oct 13.

  They first visited the Daxing Plant nursery to study ornamental plants such as anthurium scherzeranum and marantaceae. They then went to the Daxing Agricultural Technology Extension Station to learn about intelligent control systems for protected agriculture and other technologies.

  This year, over a hundred international PhD students came to CAAS. Their research fields range from horticulture and entomology to biochemistry.

  "The field trip was very informative. I was especially impressed with the Active Heat Storage-Release System for Greenhouse. I will learn more and apply that technology in my country," said Alia Anwar, one of the students.

  Field trips like this are arranged to complement theories the students learn in class. They are also expected to inspire the PhD candidates in choosing topics for their theses.

  The CAAS PhD program for international students lasts three years. The students study in Beijing for four months before going to institutes across China affiliated with the program.

  Most candidates receive scholarships granted by the Chinese Government, the Beijing Municipal Government or CAAS.

  CAAS now offers field trips on a weekly basis. It arranges visits to agricultural museums, expo gardens and similar venues so the students can learn more about Chinese agriculture.

  "The scale is not that big; CAAS¨ graduate school is interested in providing a quality boutique PhD education for international students," said Zhang Mingjun, deputy director of the school¨s international education department.

  Founded in 1979, the graduate school of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences was one of the earliest post-graduate degree-granting institutions in China.

  In 2007, it was authorized by the Ministry of Education to accept international students under the Chinese Government Scholarship (CGS) program. In 2008, the first 11 foreign students were admitted; today, over 150 foreign students are enrolled.

  GSCAAS places a great deal of emphasis on the development of international education. It has established various bilateral exchanges and cooperative arrangements with agricultural research institutions, universities and colleges from more than 60 countries and regions, and has carried out joint PhD Programs with the University of Li┬ge in Belgium, Wageningen University in the Netherlands and other world famous universities.

  Supported by the Department of International Cooperation of CAAS and the Commission of Rural Affairs of Daxing District of Beijing, CDICB, based on the Daxing Plant Nursery and Daxing Agricultural Technology Demonstration Station, is an innovative model for agricultural technological cooperation between national research institutions and local extension agencies.

  CDICB aims to showcase the achievements of CAAS¨ international cooperation and demonstrate applicable technologies for developing countries.