It is reported to be the first Chinese ‘diplomatic’ education program to be run with a foreign partner. Students will study for two years in Beijing, before a final year at the British HEI. Students will receive awards from both institutions upon completion.
“I hope the two universities could further enhance research and learning exchanges”
BFSU’s president, Peng Long, said the first cohort was expected to begin studies in the 2018/19 academic year.
The Beijing institution has a long history of diplomatic and foreign studies, and has a reputation for developing future diplomats, and the new course will tap into that experience while also helping to achieve what Keele described as “the Chinese government’s aims to develop talented young individuals who will be able to represent the country effectively”.
“The new degree program that the partnership will support, builds on expertise at both BFSU and Keele in international relations and diplomacy, but also Keele’s inter-disciplinary tradition,” commented Keele Dean of internationalisation, Richard Luther.
Keele was among the first UK institutions to offer inter-disciplinary degree programs, and the dual honours programs remain popular.
Peng commented that he hopes the joint degree can be the beginning of further collaborations.
“I hope through this partnership the two universities could further enhance research and learning exchanges in wider areas, including students and staff exchanges,” he said in a statement.
The deal follows on from a visit to China by Keele’s vice-chancellor Trevor McMillan, in April 2018.
There, he spoke to leaders of Tongji University, Shanghai Jiaotong, Guangzhou and BFSU, along with representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Education.
McMillan also gave a speech at the British Embassy in Beijing during the trip, setting out his view of universities as key to the knowledge economy.
“We need to have clear engagement opportunities and access points for businesses and others to the technology and expertise within our universities, so that it may be shared as widely as possible,” he told the attendees.