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Too close for comfort?

Collaboration is important, but so is a thorough assessment of the associated risks. Erik te Roller explores the benefits and pitfalls for Dutch universities working with China.

Ten Dutch students, including six from the University of Amsterdam, are taking part in Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme this summer. Like other large companies, the telecommunications giant invites students from all over the world to participate in its activities and sometimes offers jobs to the smartest candidates.

On the surface, this is not a cause for concern because many Chinese students and researchers also work at Dutch universities. Such collaboration is also fully in line with the memorandum of understanding on educational and scientific cooperation that the Dutch and Chinese education ministries concluded in March 2014.

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