A delegation of senior government officials from Zhuhai and industry representatives visited Birmingham City University this week to strengthen the ties between the Chinese city and the UK institution.
The aim of the visit was to promote Zhuhai as a place where the best graduates can find employment following their degrees at Birmingham City University – which currently has nearly 900 students from China.
The city of Zhuhai is a prefecture-level city on the southern coast of Guangdong province in China. Like the city of Birmingham, Zhuhai has a rich industrial heritage and is currently undergoing rapid development, focusing on high tech and heavy industries.
The delegation spent time with the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Cliff Allen, as well as Matthew Till, Assistant Director of Student Services. Both meetings were used to discuss the opportunities available for the University and its graduates within Zhuhai. Plans are now being put in place for a follow up meeting between the University and Zhuhai officials in China.
Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University said:
‘We were delighted at the opportunity to share knowledge and experience with our friends from Zhuhai and we hope that from this visit we can build further institutional links with the city and Guangdong province.
‘Birmingham City University is extremely proud of its close and longstanding engagement with China. Chinese students enrich our campus community here in the UK, while our work in China enhances research and teaching collaboration.
‘We are constantly striving to give our graduates the very best international career opportunities and the forging of such ties as those with Zhuhai are rewarding for all involved.’
Also present at the meetings were senior staff members from the Wing Yip Group, the Birmingham-based Oriental grocer and developer. The company has always been a strong supporter of enabling students from China to study overseas in the UK, establishing the W Wing Yip & Brothers Bursaries in 1999. Group founder, Woon Wing Yip, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2008.
Following the meetings on Thursday 5 November the delegation enjoyed a tour of the University’s recently opened £63 million Curzon Building, before going on to meet with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Shafique Shah.
The visit comes days following the announcement that Birmingham City University has become one of just a handful of global institutions to be given approval by the Chinese Government to set up a jointly run higher education institute in China. The partnership with Wuhan Textile University will see the Birmingham Institute of Fashion and Creative Arts open to a new intake of 300 students in September 2016.