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York welcomes summer students from Peking University

The University of York welcomes a group of undergraduates from China for the inaugural Peking University Summer School

Organised by the University’s Centre for Global Programmes, the summer school, which runs until 3 August, aims to develop the students’ knowledge of key themes in the arts and humanities and provide insights into the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Britain, including the historic city of York.

The Peking University visitors outside Heslington Hall. Photo by Huw Llewelyn-Jones
The 13 undergraduate students and two members of staff are from Peking University in Beijing, one of China’s top research universities.

The summer school will include keynote talks from senior University academics and visits to some of York’s important cultural and historic locations including York Minster, the Yorkshire Museum, Beningbrough Hall and Fairfax House. The students will also visit key cultural locations during a weekend in London, including the National Gallery, the British Museum and Tate Britain.

Hilary Layton, University of York’s Director of Internationalisation, said: “The development of summer schools is one of our key policies in international relations at York. This year, we have launched our first one at York with students from the very prestigious Peking University. We hope this will become a regular fixture, and we aim to provide summer school opportunities for students from our partner universities around the world.”

Ma Lan, Deputy Chief of the Division for Education Abroad at Peking University (PKU), said: “The Education Abroad Program at Peking University has been developing fast in recent years and students consider it as an important part of their study at PKU.   We are planning to design diverse programmes for the students, equipping them with different visions. Arts play a very important role in society and for individuals.

“The University of York and Peking University have a close relationship in the field of arts, which encouraged us to organise the summer programme. We cherish this opportunity for our students and hope it will be a great success.”

We hope this will become a regular fixture, and we aim to provide summer school opportunities for students from our partner universities around the world

Hilary Layton

Keynote speakers at the Peking University Summer School will include Professor Judith Buchanan, from York’s Department of English and Related Literature, who will give an illustrated talk on the opening of Shakespeare’s Henry V, focusing on issues such as monarchy, national self-perception and what language can do.

Professor Liz Prettejohn, from the Department of History of Art, will look at why British art matters, examining the question of why British modern art has been so neglected and why we should value it more highly. Professor Mark Ormrod, from the Department of History, will look at the history and heritage of York, from Roman times to the 21st century, explaining what has created the unique architectural and cultural legacy we enjoy today. 

Discussions and trips will be linked to these and other keynote talks, with summer school participants encouraged to develop their knowledge, understanding and creativity.

The new Centre for Global Programmes will provide summer schools both in York for partner universities, and at locations around the world for York students.  The Centre will also co-ordinate all York’s study abroad and exchange programmes, overseas internships and international travel awards.  All these programmes are designed to increase the participation of students and staff in international activity.

Further information