The consortium is the first of its kind to partner leading UK universities with the top nine engineering research institutions in China. It will be led by Queen’s University Belfast and includes The University of Nottingham, the University of Birmingham, Cardiff University, University College London and the University of Warwick.
The partnership was set up following a prestigious award by the British Council, which is aimed at building higher education links and helping to improve the quality of engineering research and teaching in China.
The UK group of universities met formally in March and are now meeting with the Chinese University Partners to discuss the collaboration, during a special workshop in Beijing this week. The group represents one quarter of the Russell Group of research intensive universities in the UK, with world leading research and education excellence in engineering.
During a delegation to Shanghai by Jo Johnson MP in September, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy agreed to fund the significant £200,000 award through the British Council.
The funding will see the successful universities working closely with the top nine engineering institutions in China, which will enable the UK universities to create a critical mass on a cluster of key engineering areas, such as energy and advanced manufacturing and will help maintain the UK’s global standing in light of increasing international competition. It will also allow China to make the transition from a big manufacturer to a manufacturing industry superpower.
Speaking about the partnership, Professor Andrew Long, The University of Nottingham’s Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering said, “The University of Nottingham has a vital, longstanding relationship with China. In 2004, we became the first foreign university to establish a campus in China when we opened The University of Nottingham Ningbo China campus.”
“In 2015, we were recognised for our commitment to China with the Cathay Pacific China Business Award for Continued Commitment and held up as a beacon for Sino-UK higher education collaboration by Sir Sebastian Wood, the former Ambassador to China.”
“This Sino-UK collaboration comes at an exciting time when the University strengthens its links with China and develops its relationships with leading Chinese universities. I believe real synergies can be achieved by UK and Chinese universities working closely together to share knowledge and expertise.”
Dr Adam Clare, Associate Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and Deputy Director of the Partnerships Team within the Faculty of Engineering, added, “This new collaboration with Chinese universities will see us continue to recruit Chinese students to study both in China and at the UK campus. This in turn will help to create groundbreaking research capacity through collaborative Sino-UK research and development programmes, closer engagement with Chinese industry and enable us to strengthen the links between the UK and Chinese societies through our work. We are very much looking forward to the future and continuing to build our partnerships with China.”