The University of Birmingham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Peck will join a UK government delegation led by Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, on a high profile trade visit to Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The two-day trip from 16-17th October 2013 will enhance the University of Birmingham’s engagement with research and businesses partners and showcase its research excellence.

During the visit David Willetts will visit one of the University of Birmingham’s major research projects in Guangzhou, the Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study led by Professor KK Cheng with local partner Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Centre. This significant project aims to build a birth cohort and child health research platform in Guangzhou, including the development of a biological sample library research technology platform, a database of epidemiological and clinical information and a comprehensive information management system. On the basis of this, an interdisciplinary and multi-regional research collaboration mechanism will gradually be established, providing support for similar research.

Prof Peck said: “The University has developed an original approach to our engagement with China which focuses in particular on Guangzhou. We have secured funding for research collaborations with the City Government, local universities, research institutes and regional enterprises in the areas of health, life sciences and engineering. I am delighted to be accompanying the Minister to China. Our Chinese partners and I are looking forward to discussing with Mr Willetts and colleagues on the delegation our major research project on the health of babies and young children in the City and what we have learnt about doing business in China from this and other initiatives.”

Prof Peck is also Head of the College of Social Sciences and Chair of the China Institute, which was opened by the University of Birmingham last year.

Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, said: “Our International Education Strategy highlighted that education exports are worth £17.5 billion to the economy with the potential for significant growth. Education partnerships are hugely valuable in building relationships with countries such as China, which is why we're encouraging more international students to study here and more UK students to spend time overseas.

“International students make a huge contribution - boosting our economy and enhancing our cultural life. That is why there is no cap on the number of legitimate students who can study here. By working with other countries we will continue to attract international students and promote the UK’s expertise in education.”


For more information please contact Deborah Walker, PR Manager for Policy and Social Affairs, University of Birmingham, 0121 414 9041 or mobile 07776 465138 or email Out of hours contact 077889 921165 or email 

• A leading UK research-intensive university, the University of Birmingham is a vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution, in the top 100 globally. With approximately 28,000 students and 6,000 members of staff, its work brings people from more than 150 countries to Birmingham.  The University has a bold strategy to develop its global reputation by enhancing its international presence and collaborations. In addition to China, Birmingham has strategic partnerships in the USA, India, Brazil and Australia.

• For further information about the University of Birmingham China Institute, please visit:

• Launched in September 2011, the Birmingham Guangzhou Centre is a unique facility established in coordination with the Guangzhou Municipal Government to facilitate joint research and education initiatives in Guangzhou and the wider region.  The University also has a representative office in Shanghai.