Monday, 25 February 2013

Lancaster University's Chinese links win it a top trade award

Ana Gibson, Client Manager of Finnair and Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Development for UKTI North West presented the China Education Links Award to Professor David Brown and Huang Qihai at the UK Trade & Investment China Awards 2013  held at The Lowry, Salford Quays, Manchester last week. Photo: Martin Birchall
Lancaster University is celebrating after being named winner in the China Education Links Awards. 

The award, given by UK Trade & Investment, goes to the institutions which have been most successful in establishing educational links with Greater China.

The Greater China Awards are organised by UK Trade & Investment North West and sponsored by Finnair, and reward the organisations that have made the most significant contribution to developing network links with Greater China.

Winner Lancaster University is ranked in the top one percent of universities globally and was one of the first Higher Education pioneers in the UK to develop relationships with China in 1976.  Last year, Lancaster welcomed 710 Chinese students to its campus.

UK Trade & Investment says these students greatly enrich the distinctive international culture of the University and the local area and the highly active Alumni groups in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong provide employability support for Lancaster graduates.

Lancaster University now has research, management, employment and teaching links with a wide range of institutions including the Renmin University of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China Academy of Sciences and Deloittes Hong Kong.

Lancaster is also planning to launch a new university in China with its partner of 20 years, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Land has been granted in the Nansha district for the proposed Guangwai-Lancaster University which will offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and enhance the research reputation of both universities.

Another North West university – the University of Salford – was runner up for the Award, which also has a long history in China, dating back to 1987  The university has a regional office in China, the Beijing Representative Office, responsible for the delivery of international student recruitment in China. 

“Education links with China are vitally important if we are to continue to foster close bonds with the market in a global environment," argues Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Development for UK Trade & Investment North West. "Both our winner and runner up today have made great achievements in this field, with clear and realistic programmes built on solid track records of delivery in education and research, establishing strong links with Chinese partners and providing employability support.”

“We are extremely proud of our success in China as a region," added Clive Drinkwater, Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment North West. "The North West is one of only two regions (the other being West Midlands) to have China as one of its top 5 export markets – North West exports to China were nearly £1.2 billion in the first three quarters of 2012 – over 11% up on the same period in 2011 and higher than the whole year’s exports in 2010.

“Forging strong relationships in the fields of education and research is extremely valuable in helping to grow our success within the market, and I am proud to see such great progress being made with collaborations between some of the North West’s top educational establishments and those in China.”

The winners were announced at the Greater China Awards and Chinese New Year Dinner on Friday 22nd February at the Lowry Theatre in Salford and presented by Chinese Consul General Pan Yundong and Ana Gibson from Finnair, who were supporting the awards for the sixth year.

The awards dinner also celebrated the Year of the Snake – often seen as a year beneficial for business as people born in a snake year are known for financial success, good judgement in monetary affairs and an intuition for business negotiations.

Also shortlisted was the International Research and Innovation Centre for the Environment at Lancaster University and the Advanced Nurse Education (Merseyside), One Education Ltd (Manchester) and Trustech (Manchester).

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