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Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 15:22 GMT
Germans build web 'bridge' to Beijing
The professors prepare for the web lecture
Prof Meinel (r) to go to Beijing to examine the students
Students in China have attended their first online lectures at a foreign university, courtesy of a highly sophisticated virtual bridge between Beijing and the German town of Trier.


It was a huge success. Students said the pictures were perfect and the words crystal clear

Hans-Joachim Allgaier
Institute for Telematics
Thirty students studying Information Technology (IT) at Beijing Polytechnic University went online on Tuesday to attend lectures about the web by professors at the Institute for Telematics in Trier, which advertises itself as Germany's leading internet development centre.

"It was a huge success," the institute's Hans-Joachim Allgaier told BBC News Online.

"Students said the pictures were perfect and the words crystal clear."

Failure to make it to the lecture hall is a common problem among students in many countries, but in Trier they have been able to take advantage of lectures on the internet, viewed from the comfort of their bedrooms, for the past three terms.

Chinese internet user
Net activity is closely monitored in China
This is the first time however that students in foreign universities have participated as part of their own courses.

China actively promotes the internet for economic use and to spread the Communist government's views, although it has worked hard to muzzle the web as a forum for free information and discussion.

Free for all

The lectures, which address the "flaws and weaknesses" of the internet are broadcast between 08:15 and 10:00 local time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Christoph Meinel, the institute's director, lectures in English.

He decided to start the project at the request of the dean of the Computer Science department of Beijing Polytechnic University, who had spent three months in Trier.

Professor Meinel's web lectures are not confined to his Chinese and German students.

Anyone with an interest in the weaknesses of the internet can watch on www.tele-task.de - but unlike the students, will not be subject to a later examination.

See also:

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