China has always been an exciting market for universities leaders around the world, for the consideration on students recruitment, research links, teaching, enterprise, just to name a few. However, it might not be that easy to penetrate into the Chinese market, needless to say, to have a successful overseas campus authorised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.
There are quite a few lucky universities who however have managed to make it happen. One of them is the UK’s Nottingham University. What is more interesting is that the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China when no other single foreign university was allowed by the Ministry of Education in China.
Today, Nottingham University is celebrating its 10 years successful presence in China on Thursday 17th April 2014, at No. 15 Guang Hua Lu, Chaoyang district Beijing, China, the very glamorous British Embassy Residence.
What are their success secrets in China? I guess it might be find the most appropriate partners in China and to create a win-win-win solutions for all the parties involved.
About 200 leaders in the UK and China were invited to attend this reception for The Tenth Anniversary of The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, who was sent to China for an extensive 3 months road trip to open the whole Chinese market for QS, was very honoured to be invited.
It started with the drink reception and at about 19.00, Prof Nick Miles, OBE, Provost of UNNC and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham gave the Opening remarks while introduced the guests of honour. This is followed immediately by a short 5 minutes welcome speech by His Excellency Mr Sebastian Wood CMG, British Ambassador to China.
Prof David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham briefed the guests key achievements UNNC has achieved over the past 10 years in China.
Prof. Yang Fu Jia, a hugely influential leader in China followed Prof. Greenaway to speak. His influence does not lies in the fact that he was the former President of Fudan University, one of the top 3 Chinese mainland University based on the QS World University Rankings, but also because his great reputation among his Chinese universities leaders and the central Chinese government. He also shared some thoughts as the President of UNNC and Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Nottingham.He is the first Chinese in history to become the Chancellor of a UK leading university.
The model of Nottingham University Ningbo Campus is interesting. They have identified a well established local partner- the Wanli Education Group, who they have worked closely in the past ten years to set up the China Campus. Talking about the Wanli Education Group, there are also some interesting facts about it- it was founded in June 1993, with the aim to take over an engineer school on the verge of bankruptcy and hence established an international school whose offer ranges from kindergarten to higher education. Now, the Wanli Education Group is one of the key players in the education sector in China.
Madam Xu Yafen, Chairperson and founder of Wanli Education Group and the Board of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China was also present, who delivered one of the most passionate and inspiring speech, sharing the tremendous efforts devoted by all stakeholders involved to establish China’s first foreign overseas campus in 2004. Most of the guests present were very impressed by the achievement and their dedication to education-the betterment of human civilisation.
It might seem very difficult to follow up such a charismatic speech from such a dedicated education leader. As a result, a 5 minutes commemoration movie celebrating “The tenth anniversary of Nottingham Ningbo” was played.
After that, as usual, it is the Networking reception over buffet dinner and the whole event finished at about 21:00.