Yenching Academy Ambassador Speaker Series: Minister of Higher Education and Science of the Kingdom of the Denmark

On 17 December 2015,Yenching Academy of Peking University welcomed Dr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister of Higher Education and Science of the Kingdom of the Denmark and the Honorable Ambassador A. Carsten Damsgaard from the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing. First Secretary Jacob Lindkvist attended the Yenching Academy inaugural opening ceremony on 12 September 2015 and met our Danish student, Anders Hjortshoj.

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The Minister was greeted by Mr. Wang Jie, Vice President of Peking University at Lin Hu Xuan. They exchanged dialogue on Sino-Danish study abroad challenges, international programs for PhD studies, and discussed new pathways to improve education for international students. The Minister and Ambassador then visited scholars from Yenching Academy and Danish students studying at Peking University for a round table discussion on the need for a global economy and education.

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"Understanding the question is only half the answer", Minister Larsen quoted a Greek philosopher in his opening speech to graduate scholars at Peking University. Denmark is a rich country that values education and research. One percent of the country's GDP goes towards publicly financed research. Students studying in Denmark receive loans and grants. Three months ago, the first Danish astronaut went into space. Currently, there is high emphasis in Denmark to raise the bar in higher level education.

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The famous Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen once said, "To travel is to live". The Minister quoted this line and continued to press upon the importance of becoming more knowledgeable and to reward the most talented young individuals, therefore one could also say "œTo travel is to learn". The Minister shared his personal story with students about his travel journey and things he learnt. In order to survive beyond the academic textbooks and go into the world, one must learn with our knowledge and competence.

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