UK universities forging Chinese connections

Updated: 2016-10-31 17:40


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A delegation including eight vice-chancellors from elite Russell Group universities is heading for Shanghai on Monday, to meet a group from China's leading universities in a bid to boost collaboration.

The Russell Group represents Britain's top 24 research-intensive universities. The UK delegation will meet representatives from the China 9 alliance, which is also known as the C9. It will be the first meeting of its kind.

The Russell Group-China 9 Dialogue will be co-chaired by Zhang Jie, president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Professor David Greenaway, chair of the Russell Group and vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham.

The C9 alliance comprises nine elite research-intensive universities - Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University, the University of Science and Technology of China, Xi'an Jiaotong University, and Zhejiang University.

The university leaders will discuss how best to foster excellence in research, innovation and higher education and consider the benefits of, and opportunities for, collaboration between the Russell Group and the Chinese universities.

A joint statement is expected to be signed by both participants, aimed at exploring ways to deepen engagement and strengthen existing relationships, facilitate the sharing of information and address complex global challenges, and the explore additional ways to boost interaction.

Greenaway said: "Our universities are international institutions that thrive on their academic links around the world. They recognise that big scientific, economic and social challenges will only be solved when the best minds work together through global research collaboration. There are huge mutual benefits for Russell Group universities and China's leading universities to work together."

He believes the institutions have an important role to play.

"By deepening our engagement and sharing our approaches to complex global challenges, our universities can continue to lead the world in producing excellent research," he said. "An agreement like this, with the C9, represents an exciting opportunity to further the exchange of ideas and knowledge."

Vice-chancellors taking part are from University of the Birmingham, the Cardiff University, the University of Glasgow, Queen's University Belfast, University College London, the University of Warwick, and the University of York.

A further five Russell Group universities will be represented by deputies from the University of Bristol, Kings College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Manchester, Newcastle University and Queen Mary University of London.