Lancaster University helps Lancashire careers consultancy make Far East break-through

Dr Peter Sewell (second from right) at the China launch of their new service

14 November 2016

Lancaster University has helped a Lancashire careers consultancy launch a new service tailored for the huge Chinese market.

Preston-based LanHai Career Management Ltd offer advice, guidance and training in leadership, personal development, employability and essential business skills, particularly through working with colleges and universities.

Now - through working with Lancaster University’s Lancaster China Catalyst Programme, LanHai, along with its Chinese partner Xuanyuan Network Technology Co Ltd, has launched a new service designed to help students in Chinese colleges and universities.

Support through the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme - which offers a staged programme of support to UK companies to develop partnerships with commercial partners in China - included having talented student researchers with backgrounds in science and technology, management and design, working on the project within the company and its Chinese partner as part of their studies for a Masters degree in International Innovation at Lancaster University.

The students have been able to help adapt LanHai’s e-learning tools specifically for the local Chinese market. They have looked particularly at how Chinese users pay for these kinds of services, looking at challenges posed by the scale of the country, and also the nature of the Chinese economy. The students also helped Lan Hai to overcome technical IT issues related with getting the online service to work effectively in China.

Dr Peter Sewell, Managing Director of LanHai Career Management Ltd, said: “Our progress with this project in China would have been unlikely to have got this far without the support from the China catalyst programme.”

Dr Nick Burd, Director of the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme, said: “We are delighted that LanHai has participated in the first group of companies that we took to China as part of our Catalyst Programme, and that the partnership between LanHai and Xuanyuan is now seeing the benefits of the hard work by everyone involved in making their project a success, including the students.”

With initial investment of more than £4 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Lancashire County Council and participating businesses, the £5.1 million Lancaster China Catalyst Programme aims to exploit the global links of Lancaster University for the benefit of UK companies.

The Lancaster China Catalyst Programme is working with several hundred technology-focused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, and facilitating 60 of these businesses to develop collaborative partnerships with businesses located in Guangdong Province in China.

UK businesses selected to participate in the programme benefit from a leadership programme to build innovation, creativity and leadership capabilities within the company, geared to the challenges and opportunities of international collaboration and trade.

Graduate-calibre teams with expertise in science, technology, management and design work with UK and Chinese partners on specific projects in both the UK and China. The students involved undertake a new MSc in International Innovation.