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Cisco Establishes Academies At 10 Chinese Universities

As a part of its Networking Academy program, Cisco Systems has launched 10 new regional networking academies in China in cooperation with tertiary institutions under the auspices of the China Education and Research Network (CERNET).

The new Networking Academies have been set up in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xian.

China's first Cisco Networking Academy was established in September 1998 at Shanghai's prestigious Fudan University.

"The introduction of the Cisco Networking Academy program in cooperation with these 10 tertiary institutions underlines our commitment to the people of China, and reinforces our belief in the strategic importance of networking skills to the Internet Generation," said Duh Jiabin, president of Cisco Systems China.

The academies will be managed by Tsinghua University, Beijing University, Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications, Shanghai Jiaotong University, South East University, North East University, Central China Institute of Technology, South China Institute of Technology, Xian Jiaotong University and the University of Electronic Technology.

"We gladly agreed to participate in the Cisco Networking Academy program because of its relevance to the education environment in China and its vendor-independent content," said professor Wu Jianping of Tsinghua University, and director of CERNET.

"We also appreciate the fact that the curriculum is not tied into Cisco products, and graduates of this course will be able to set up and configure networking equipment from any vendor, not just Cisco," added Wu.

The curriculum also has web-based facilities making it possible to deliver the course to remote parts of China.

"This is important for a country of China's size," said Wu. "The curriculum, supplemented with practical hands-on laboratory exercises, gives students the opportunity to put their newly learned skills to use immediately."

Wu believes that the program is valuable because China is currently suffering a shortage of talented IT professionals to manage and support first-class networking equipment.

The Cisco Networking Academy program was introduced in the United States in October 1997.

Cisco has committed to providing networking equipment, course materials and teaching resources to involve more than 500 schools and colleges throughout Asia by the end of 1999.

There are Cisco Networking Academies currently operating in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan.