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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 February, 2004, 11:51 GMT
Exams body opens office in China
Exam and Beijing
The SQA office will offer Chinese students a gateway to Scotland
Scotland's examination body is to open its first office in China as part of a drive to encourage students from the Far East.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) said it has agreed a deal with the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange.

Chinese students are to be given the chance to study Scottish degrees.

First Minister Jack McConnell said the move further enhanced the reputation of Scotland's education system.

The initiative will see students at Chinese universities study Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) in business, computing, hospitality, tourism and finance.

These qualifications will be recognised in Scotland and give students the chance to study at Scottish higher education institutions.

Deputy Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister Lewis Macdonald is expected to visit Beijing later this week to open the SQA office.

We consider it an honour to have established this relationship
Anton Colella
SQA chief executive
The Scottish Executive recently launched its Fresh Talent initiative which aims to address Scotland's population decline and increase its skilled workforce.

Mr McConnell said it was important to promote Scotland as an attractive place to study, work and live.

"Our reputation for excellence and innovation has opened the door to a truly exciting opportunity that we cannot afford to pass up," he said.


"It's an opportunity that many other countries can only dream of. This deal means we can directly promote Scotland into the world's most important emerging market.

"We can say that Scotland is a place where people can come to learn, a place to do business with and that Scotland is a place to live and work."

Scotland must become "a serious player in the global knowledge-driven economy", the first minister added.

First Minister Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell: Scotland has a presence in global market

Mr Macdonald said his Chinese visit would help forge new links.

He said: "I'm very pleased that students in China will now benefit from the higher education Scotland offers and that our universities and colleges will in turn benefit from attracting new students."

SQA chief executive Anton Colella said: "We consider it an honour to have established this relationship.

"It's a tribute to the quality of the HNDs, developed and delivered by Scotland's colleges in partnership with the SQA."

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