The University of Birmingham’s China Institute will host a workshop this week designed to showcase opportunities to study or gain work experience in China, with advice on scholarships available.
The British Council is organising a number of events, including this one, as part of its new Generation UK campaign, launched in the summer with support from the UK and Chinese governments and has included the University of Birmingham in its national road show taking place across the UK this autumn.
Jaymes Clark, a law student from the University of Birmingham who interned at a law firm in China this summer, said: “In general the internship felt like a gateway to another world and thus from the moment I stepped through the doors I was learning new and exciting things every day from both a legal and cultural perspective. The chance to experience such a huge change has allowed me to mature as a person and I believe that it has provided me with a much better platform upon which to base my career.”
The student workshop at the University of Birmingham will aim to further raise awareness among students of the opportunities being made available through the campaign and reinforce the potential benefits that gaining experience in China offers. Sessions will include details about the academic scholarships and funded internships available through Generation UK and information on how and why students should get involved. Representatives from the University of Birmingham’s Careers and Employability Centre and Study Abroad team will also be on hand to provide further advice and information.
Jazreel Goh, Director of Education Marketing at the British Council in China, said: “We are really pleased to come to the University of Birmingham. The British Council’s ultimate goal with Generation UK is to create a new generation of more globally, culturally and business aware young people. There is no better way to build trust and understanding than through experiencing education in another country, but UK students have to get out in to the world if they want the best jobs and opportunities, they can’t wait for the world to come to them.”
For the next academic year, there are plans to support even more UK students to study in China. As well as a national scholarship, allowing for study at any mainland Chinese university for one semester to a full academic year, Generation UK will also provide municipal and provincial level scholarships in 2014/15.
As well as offering scholarships for academic study, an internship programme also forms part of Generation UK’s opportunities in China. Applications for the internship programme opened last August, which provides funding for UK students to undertake two-month work placements in six mainland Chinese cities.
Generation UK has been very positively received by the Chinese government since its official launch in June this year. Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, praised the campaign this earlier summer for supporting the future development of UK-China relations.
The Generation UK workshop will take place at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham from 14:30 – 15:30 on 30 October 2013.
Generation UK aims to see at least 15,000 UK students participate in academic study or work experience programmes in China by 2016 – the year that China is forecast to overtake the USA and become the world’s biggest economy. Business leaders in the UK have increasingly emphasised the importance of the UK’s young people having a better understanding of China, and the value of international skills and understanding when they look to recruit. Currently around five thousand Chinese students are studying in the City of Birmingham alone, but less than five thousand students from across the whole UK are believed to have studied in China last year.