22 September 2016

The first Environmental Science students have started studying at Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) as part of Lancaster’s latest initiative with China

The University College is a partnership between Lancaster University and Beijing Jiaotong University. Based in Weihai, Shandong Province, The University College, was formally opened on 11 September 2016, marking a new chapter in Lancaster’s long history of partnership working with China.

The first cohort of more than 200 students will spend the next four years on one of the University College’s undergraduate programmes, including 76 Enviromental Science students alongside others studying engineering, computing and design. Students will be taught jointly by Lancaster and BJTU and will graduate with a joint degree from both partner universities.

Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, and Professor Jun Liu, Vice-President of Beijing Jiaotong University, officially unveiled a University College plaque at a ceremony in Weihai, attended by Vice-Mayor of Weihai and other senior officials, a representative from the British Council and partner universities, faculty members, students and parents.

Professor Smith said: “Lancaster was the one of the first universities to establish relationships with China back in the 1970s. Today is a special moment and milestone for both Lancaster and Beijing Jiaotong, and we will combine our complementary academic expertise in fostering high-level teaching and research cooperation in Weihai.”

In his speech, Professor Smith warmly congratulated the first intake of students. He also expressed his thanks to the Municipal Government of Weihai for their financial and policy support for the construction of the high-quality campus and said he hoped the University College would be a bridge between Weihai and Lancaster, China and the UK, and lead to other partnerships in research, business and people-to-people exchange.

Professor Kevin Jones, from the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) visited the Weihai campus recently to greet the incoming Environmental Science students. He said: “This is a really exciting development for LEC and marks our chance to extend our work with Chinese partners into the undergraduate arena.

“The first cohort of students come from many different provinces across China and a range of backgrounds and were very excited to be beginning their studies. “Lancaster staff will be regular visitors to Weihai to teach the students in English and we are currently welcoming BJTU staff here in Lancaster to learn about our teaching methods and course provision.”

The Lancaster delegation also met the new students and staff during their visit, and attended the 120th Anniversary celebration of BJTU in Beijing and the 2016 Global University Presidents Summit, where Professor Smith gave a keynote address on the role of Higher Education in China’s ‘One Belt, One Road policy’.