University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood joined seven fellow Russell Group leaders in the first delegation of its kind to China.

Eight Vice-Chancellors from the Russell Group - the UK’s 24 leading research-intensive universities - travelled to Shanghai for discussions with leaders from the China 9 (C9) – an alliance of nine elite universities in mainland China.

Delegates focussed on strengthened relationships and shared approaches to global challenges between UK and China’s leading universities.

The Russell Group – China 9 Dialogue, was co-chaired by President Jie Zhang of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Professor Sir David Greenaway, Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham.

VC China 2016

University leaders discussed how best to foster excellence in research, innovation and higher education. They also considered the benefits of, and opportunities for, collaboration between the Russell Group and Chinese universities.

Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “The University of Birmingham has a proud tradition of civic responsibility stretching back to 1900. As the representative of a 21st century global university, I am proud to join my Russell Group colleagues in working with our Chinese partners to strengthen our relationship and work closely on tackling the big challenges facing universities and businesses – not just in China and the UK but around the globe.”

Following formal discussions President Zhang and Professor Greenaway signed a Joint Russell Group – China 9 Statement on:

  • Exploring ways to deepen engagement and strengthen existing relationships
  • Sharing information and approaches to addressing complex global challenges
  • Considering opportunities to further facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge

Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor Sir David 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.

“I am delighted we are signing this joint statement with our colleagues from the C9. There are huge mutual benefits for Russell Group universities and China’s leading universities to work together.

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

Russell Group Vice-Chancellors in the delegation were:

  • Professor Sir David Greenaway, University of Nottingham and Chair of the Russell Group
  • Professor Sir David Eastwood, University of Birmingham
  • Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University
  • Professor Anton Muscatelli, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Patrick Johnston, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Michael Arthur, University College London
  • Professor Stuart Croft, University of Warwick
  • Professor Koen Lamberts, University of York

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

For more information or interviews, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312.

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.

The C9 is an alliance of nine research-intensive universities in mainland China. Its members are:

  • Fudan University
  • Harbin Institute of Technology
  • Nanjing University
  • Peking University
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Tsinghua University
  • University of Science and Technology of China
  • Xi'an Jiaotong University
  • Zhejiang University