The University of Birmingham hosts Counsellor Shen Yang and three other representatives from the Education section at the Chinese Embassy, this week.

The Embassy visit to Birmingham highlights growing civic and academic ties with China. It is an opportunity for representatives to meet the Vice Chancellor and other senior University staff and to discuss the development of the University’s relationships with academic, government and commercial organisations in China.

The University has enjoyed a long history of engagement with China dating back over 100 years and last year saw the establishment of the University of Birmingham Centre  in Guangzhou, Birmingham’s sister city, to support its emerging activities and collaboration in the region.  The University’s engagement in Guangzhou focuses primarily on research collaboration in areas of strategic importance, such as health care, neurosciences and the environment and is supported by close relations with Guangzhou Municipal Government.

Recognising the University’s growing academic interests in China, the University is set to launch a China Institute in the autumn as an umbrella structure for the various China interests on the University’s Edgbaston campus.  The visit provided an opportunity to share plans around the new Institute.

The visit to the University includes a meeting with Vice-Chancellor Professor David Eastwood, Professor Edward Peck, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences (and Academic Lead for China); and Andréa Edwards, Director of International Development and Mobility.  A working lunch provides opportunity for leading Birmingham academics to discuss their contribution to the development of the University’s relationships in China and the University’s China Institute. The visit also includes an opportunity for Embassy staff to meet with Chinese students studying at Birmingham

Andréa Edwards said “We are delighted to host such a high level delegation to the University from the Embassy, which provides an opportunity to discuss our engagement in China and the unique approach we have taken by developing a distinctive ‘partnership platform’ to our engagement in Guangzhou, supported by close relations with Guangzhou Municipal Government. Our integrated approach to engagement in China focuses on the development of mutually-beneficial joint research and collaborative activities across academic institutions, public service providers, research institutes and commercial organisations in the Guangzhou region. The continued support and advice of the Chinese Government and Embassy in London is greatly appreciated as we look to consolidate our work in China through the establishment of our China Institute.”

For media enquiries or photographs of the embassy visitors meeting Vice-Chancellor Professor David Eastwood, please contact Catherine Byerley, University of Birmingham press office, tel + 44 (0)121 414 8254