China's Top Universities Form Local 'Ivy League'

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China is seeking to emulate America's Ivy League as the country's nine most prestigious universities plan to join hands to become the world's leading educational institutes.

The Xinmin Evening News reported on its website Wednesday that China's nine leading universities signed a cooperation agreement on Monday creating the so-called C9. They include China Science & Technology University, Fudan University, Haerbin Institute of Techonology, Nanjing University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tsinghua University, Xi'an Jiaotong University, and Zhejiang University.

Under the agreement, students can take courses at any of the nine schools and their grades and credits will be recognized by the other member universities.

The universities will also establish a joint research program connecting similar disciplines among the universities, allowing graduate students to join research projects at other schools, and awarding credits to visiting researchers for stints of at least six months.

The C9 universities also plan to share coursework materials and online lectures, and to work together to compile textbooks, nurture young professors, develop distant learning programs, and establish a joint committee for evaluating dissertations. They will also enhance exchanges with leading foreign schools such as the American Ivy League and some affiliated universities in Australia. / Oct. 15, 2009 10:24 KST