16 September 2016 15:45

The first students have taken up their places at Lancaster University College at Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) 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 in engineering, computing, environmental sciences and design, taught jointly by Lancaster and BJTU.

Students 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 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.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Professor Smith, Professor Andrew Atherton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University and Professor Wei Shen, Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute, met with the students and staff of the University College to see how they were settling in.

The Lancaster delegation also 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’.