Leicester builds Knowledge Economy in Eastern China

Posted by rmt22 at Apr 03, 2017 08:55 AM |
A recent visit to Jiangsu Province has provided us with some fantastic opportunities

Jiangsu Province, in Eastern China, is home to more Higher Education institutes (137, in 2015) than any other Chinese province. Supporting an ambitious programme to improve the quality of its best universities through developing stronger collaborations with research-intensive UK universities, it hosted the UK-Jiangsu Knowledge Economy Education Partnerships mission on the 14 and 15 March in Nanjing.

The event was co-delivered by the British Council and the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education (JPDE). More than 80 Chinese officials attended, alongside 21 Jiangsu and UK universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Leicester. The two-day programme focused on three priority sectors, Healthcare, Environmental Engineering, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Leicester’s delegation was led by Professor Sarah Dixon, Pro-Vice Chancellor International, and included two natives of Jiangsu Province – Professor Hongbiao Dong (Engineering) and Dr Bin Yang (3Is) – and Dr Kal Karim (Chemistry). The event included visits to Nanjing University, South East University, and Nanjing University of Science and Technology alongside plenary sessions, themed discussion groups and networking activities.

Professor Dixon said: “This event was brought to our attention by a Jiangsu native, Dr Shengfu Yang, from the Department of Chemistry. It is clear to me that Jiangsu is a very important region in China – it has the second highest provincial GDP – and one with great ambition.  Jiangsu Province has allocated substantial funding to the development of its Higher Education sector, and the British Council event illustrated clearly that UK universities must think in new and creative ways to realise maximum value from new partnerships. The days of one-to-one relationships being the only option are over – we must think now, by default, of combining the complementary strengths of HE, government and commerce in a powerful ‘triple helix’ delivery platform”.

The Party Secretary of Jiangsu, Mr Qiang Li, will visit the UK in May as part of the Chinese government’s broader initiative to develop its world-class universities. It is expected that Mr Li will use this visit to formalise some of the relationships initiated and developed at the Jiangsu event.

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