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Elite universities in UK, China strive for stronger ties

The Russell Group of universities in the UK has signed an agreement with China 9, an association of nine top Chinese universities, to further educational collaboration between the two groups.

David Greenaway and Jie Zhang, chairs of the Russell Group-China 9 dialogue, at the signing ceremony. Photo: Russell Group

There has also been more of a push at government level to further educational collaboration between the two countries.

The agreement was signed at the end of last month when a delegation of eight Russell Group university vice chancellors travelled to China for a Russell Group-China 9 Dialogue.

The signed agreement will seek to explore ways to strengthen existing relationships, share information and approaches to addressing complex global challenges, as well as consider opportunities to further facilitate idea and knowledge exchange.

“I am delighted we are signing this joint statement with our colleagues from the C9”

“I am delighted to see that substantial collaborations between our universities have been successfully carried out in the last few years,” said Jie Zhang, president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“The signing of the joint statement is another milestone in the relationship between the two groups and will surely leads to a closer and more fruitful cooperation in the years to come.”

The agreement outlines that both alliances are characterised by their “focus on pioneering, excellent research and innovation,” as well as delivering, among other things, a “commitment to internationalisation”.

The two groups will use the agreement to further research and secure funding for collaborations.

There has also been more of a push at government level to further educational collaboration between the two countries.

“The state visit of President Xi Jinping in October 2015 ushered in a new ‘golden era’ in bilateral relations between China and the UK,” says the agreement.

“And this provides new opportunities to further strengthen relations between world-class universities in the UK and China for the mutual benefit of both countries.”

The delegation to Shanghai was formed of representatives from the universities of Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Birmingham, Warwick, York, University College London and Queen’s University Belfast.

“I am delighted we are signing this joint statement with our colleagues from the C9,” commented David Greenaway, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham and chair of the Russell Group.

“There are huge mutual benefits for Russell Group universities and China’s leading universities to work together.”

China 9 is formed of Fudan, Nanjing, Peking, Tsinghua, Xi’an Jiaotong, and Zhejiang University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Science and Technology of China.

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