University leaders from China were welcomed to the campus in October for a week-long programme of events hosted by Vice-Chancellor Brian Cantor and senior University of York staff including Professor John Local, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Hilary Layton, Director of Internationalisation.
The 26-strong delegation of senior staff from China - all at and above vice-president level - were on a three-week study tour of the UK organised by the British Council and the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA).
The theme of the programme was focussed on partnership. A series of talks, workshops and seminars were delivered by senior York staff on the challenges facing global higher education today.
The visit also included a reception hosted by the Lord Mayor, David Horton and the Sherriff of York, Alan Dellal. In their welcome address, the Lord Mayor and the Chief Executive of City of York Council, Kersten England, spoke about the way in which the city and the University are working together to develop strong relationships with Chinese education and business.
The week culminated in the second Forum on UK-China links in higher education which drew senior staff from other institutions in the UK.
York has very strong links to China. Our partners include Peking, Nanjing, Zhejiang, Wuhan, Beijing Normal, Renmin, Beijing Jiaotong, Shanghai Jiaotong and Southeast Universities. In 2010 York launched the Jiangning Foundation in 2010 to promote cultural exchange between the UK and China. It provides History of Art scholarships for MA students, and the funding of staff mobility programmes in arts and humanities.
Bespoke training for television executives and programme makers in China is being developed through our Department of Theatre, Film and Television. Many of our partnerships in China are conducted through the Worldwide Universities Network. WUN supports a number of highly successful research groups, including a Spintronics group, with Zhejiang University. The impact of spintronics on the microelectronics industry could eventually be comparable to the development of the transistor more than 50 years ago.
The highly successful York−Nanjing Joint Centre for Spintronics and Nano-engineering with Nanjing University receives funding from research and industrial partners in the UK and China. With Beijing Jiaotong University we have established a joint Railway Safety Research Centre alongside the Key State Laboratory for Railway Control and Safety.
We have also developed ideas on entrepreneurship with partners in China, particularly with regard to students and career development. A link between the science education groups at York and Southeast University (SEU) has been actively promoted by Professor Yu Wei, one of China’s leading science educators and a former Vice-Minister of Education.
York is developing courses for science teachers and working on science curriculum development – educating the next generation of scientists. The philosophy link between York and SEU will focus on bioethics and on east-west philosophical dialogue. These areas have potential science and business relevance as we explore the impact of growth, scientific development and acceptance by society of new technology.