Lancaster hosts UK-China Joint Institute Alliance AGM

Last month saw Lancaster University and Beijing Jiaotong University host the annual general meeting and Trans-National Education conference of the UK-China Joint Institute Alliance (JIA). These events bring together the twenty eight member institutes of the JIA to discuss the latest policy trends and updates for transnational education in China; explore challenges and issues of quality assurance; and share best practice across the network. In addition to the AGM, Lancaster has also hosted a China-wide student competition.


Both events were organised in collaboration with the UK-China Joint Institute Alliance (JIA), established in 2017 by the British Council (UK) and China Education Association for International Exchange (PRC) to support the establishment and management of high-quality transnational education initiatives within through partnership in China. The AGM was opened by Professor Simon Guy, PVC Global, Digital and Sustainability and Mr Yanlei Bai, Deputy Director of Weihai Campus, Beijing Jiaotong University. Speaking about the event Professor Guy said:


“We were delighted to host this event in a digital format this year and enable members of the Joint Institute Alliance to connect and share their experiences – this is more important now than ever before. It has been a year with more challenges than any of us could have anticipated but one in which our partnerships, collaboration and friendships have endured. Our own strategic partnership with BJTU in particular has been strengthened by the challenges we have overcome together. This network creates a platform for building a quality brand of Chinese- British Transnational Education and promoting the development of Chinese- British collaboration in teaching and research; this commitment to excellence is something we value greatly”


As with most activities at the moment, Covid-19 meant that it was not possible to hold a physical annual general meeting in the way members are used to. The organisers therefor decided to take this as an opportunity to reimagine the format of the event. This was a great success with a significant increase in attendance and the introduction of four pre-AGM workshops on ‘student experience’; ‘teaching English for academic purposes’; ‘scientific research and the synergy of UG-PG’; and, ‘digital practice’. Contributions to these workshops form Lancaster included Sophie Lu, IT Service Manager for Strategic Partners who updated on the Alibaba Cloud Accelerator project and Professor David Higgitt who presented on how the student experience is enhanced developed at Lancaster University College at Beijing Jiaotong University where he is Academic Dean.


An addition made possible by the event being online this year was the expansion of the student engagement opportunity. Lancaster introduced a student opportunity to the JIA AGM last year with great success. Increased accessibility meant that participation more than doubled this year. Over 200 students from across China, including three teams from Lancaster University College Beijing Jiaotong Univeristy, submitted one-minute videos, with the best three being shown to the leadership of all JIA member institutes at the AGM. The quality of the videos was outstanding, capturing personal experiences and observations and articulating well researched suggestions. The aim of this student event was to enable students to share their experience of covid-19 and discuss how their institutions can best support collaboration amongst students studying UK-China degrees post covid-19. To watch the the finalists' videos please visit this webpage dedicated to the Student Experience Exchange.


If you would like to access the recordings of any of the above workshops or have any questions about the event please contact Joe Bourne, Global Engagement Manager in Recruitment, Admissions and International Development.

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