Nordic Centre summer course at Fudan University 2020

I recently submitted my final assignment for a summer course I have been attending. The course was “Business and Innovation in China” and arranged by Nordic Centre at Fudan University in Shanghai. I actually applied for another summer course called “Chinese Politics and Culture”, also offered through Nordic Centre. But that one got cancelled due to the travel restrictions this year and I was offered a place on an online version of their Business and Innovation course instead. Both courses are usually held on location at Fudan, and it was rather disappointing not getting to travel to Shanghai. But the online version also turned out to be a worthwhile experience.

One of the main reasons I wanted to do a summer course was simply to learn about something I knew very little about and that was a change of pace from my current Computer Engineering studies, and this turned out to be a great choice. A lot of emphasis was put on the innovation part and discussion around use of new technology, so the course was not entirely unrelated to my other studies. Coursework started back in May when all students received a preliminary reading list consisting of 24 articles and excerpts from books, and then lectures started on the 10th of July. A lot of good lectures were held by the main course instructor and 10 guest speakers had insightful presentations. The Nordic Centre staff gave lessons in basic Chinese vocabulary and streamed from famous locations in Shanghai, so the students could get to see parts of the city even if we could not be there. The students came from many different universities that are members of the Nordic Centre and apart from NTNU (where I study), this year’s students came from Aalborg University, University of Turku, University of Copenhagen, Uppsala University, University of Oslo and University of Southern Denmark. After two weeks of lectures we had a group assignment were we had to write a 4-6 pages essay on the topic of “China 2020 – Promising Context for Innovation?”, which is and interesting and quite complicated topic to write about for a country as diverse as China is. Finally, each student had to submit an individual assignment with a product/service idea for the Chinese market. I enjoy speculating and formulating ideas, so I had a lot of fun with this final assignment.

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