Press release

New links between UK and China universities

Universities in the UK and China have announced a series of new partnerships, expanding the opportunities for students to learn overseas.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


David Willetts, the Universities Minister, revealed the new initiatives during the biggest ever trade mission to China this week.

Globally the education market is worth $4.5 trillion (£2.75 trillion) annually. The government is supporting UK universities to expand their exports through the International Education Strategy, launched earlier this year.

David Willetts said:

In China, and around the globe, the market for education is growing rapidly. We are determined that our world-class universities should build on the UK’s position as the education partner of choice for China.

These new partnerships are good for education and good for growth. They will ensure China and the UK have well-educated and trained young people, equipped to meet the opportunities and challenges of a globalised world.

The education partnerships announced include:

  • The University of Nottingham investing £25 million in a Marine Economy Research and Technology Transfer Centre, as well as £27 million in the development of its Ningbo campus. It is also signing a multi-million pound agreement with Guangdong University of Finance and Guangdong Provincial Government to establish the Guangdong-Nottingham Advanced Finance Institute, which will train up to 2,000 Chinese financial specialists each year
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) investing £80 million in its new South Campus in Suzhou
  • the UK’s Open University signing a new agreement with Chongqing Open University and an agreement with Peking University School of Telemedical Education
  • Cardiff University establishing a £6.5 million Cancer Research Centre in collaboration with Beijing‘s Capital Medical University
  • Lancaster University and Guangdong Provincial Office of Science & Technology are to sign an agreement outlining future collaborations, including the recently announced China Catalyst programme to boost trade between UK and Chinese businesses
  • the British Council’s launching the Generation UK CEO initiative, further expanding its Generation UK scheme. The new project aims to increase the number of UK students going to China to 15,000 over the next 3 years – currently around 4,200 UK students study in China every year.

Note to Editors:

  1. For more information about the announcements contact the BIS press office on 020 7215 5256.

  2. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 5 December 2013