Lancaster University has been named as the winner of the China Education Links Award.
The award, given by UK Trade & Investment North West (UKTI), is for the institution which has been most successful in establishing educational links with China.
The winners were announced at the Greater China Awards and Chinese New Year Dinner at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.
Professor David Brown is Director of the Lancaster China Management Centre at Lancaster University Management School.
He said: “It’s good to be recognised for our success in establishing relationships with China. We were one of the first universities in the UK to do this back in 1976 and now there are over seven hundred Chinese students on campus. Collaboration remains central to our China agenda.”
“Over the years we have developed research, management, teaching and employment links with a wide range of institutions including China Agricultural University, Nanjing University, North West Agricultural and Forestry University, Renmin University of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and Deloittes Hong Kong. Importantly, all these links have evolved to meet the University’s changing priorities.”
The University’s Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) has long established links with China including the China Bridge Project which is aimed at tackling environmental issues like global food security. This is in partnership with Chinese colleagues within the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Agricultural University, the Chinese Ministry of Environment and a growing number of UK businesses.
LEC has also agreed a formal collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences based on the environmental sciences.
One joint initiative is the International Research and Innovation Centre for the Environment (IRICE) which was launched in Guangzhou last year.
There is also a new Lancaster undergraduate degree in Linguistics with Chinese and all students at Lancaster University are offered the chance to study Mandarin with the help of the Confucius Institute based on campus. This also offers Chinese cultural courses to local schools and businesses as well as supporting enterprise in the North West.
The Confucius Institute was awarded jointly to Lancaster and its partner, the South China University of Technology (SCUT) in Guangzhou by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (known as Hanban).
Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Development for UK Trade & Investment North West said: “Education links with China are vitally important if we are to continue to foster close bonds with the market in a global environment. 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.”
Clive Drinkwater, Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment North West, said: “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.”