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York strengthens academic links with China

Posted on 4 November 2016

The University of York has agreed student exchanges with one of the most prestigious universities in China.

The agreement with Peking University was discussed during a visit to China by York's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts.

The programme will see five undergraduate students from York studying in Peking for a year, with both undergraduate and postgraduate students from Peking returning to study at York.

The University of York has important research collaborations with Peking, including one on atmospheric pollution, led by Professor Ally Lewis at York.  The two universities also run summer schools for each others’ students every summer.

Professor Lamberts met with officials from the China Academy of Sciences, and attended a joint meeting of the UK Russell Group with China’s elite C9 universities in Shanghai.

The Russell Group-China 9 Dialogue saw university leaders discuss how best to foster excellence in research, innovation and higher education and consider the benefits and opportunities for collaboration between the Russell Group and Chinese universities. In his speech to other university presidents, Professor Lamberts highlighted the importance of multi-faceted links – including student exchange, shared teaching and collaborative research projects.

The visit also included focus groups with senior York alumni in Beijing and Shanghai to discuss professional networking, employability, and the expertise of former York students working in business in China.

There are nearly 6,500 York graduates currently living in China, and there are active alumni groups of York graduates in Beijing and Shanghai.

Professor Lamberts said: “It is important for us to have exchange agreements with leading universities, such as Peking.  Our students benefit enormously from spending part of their degree in another country, and experiencing what other cultures and economies have to offer.

“York is one of the most international universities in the world and has a long history of welcoming students from China. This five-year agreement presents an exciting opportunity for both universities.

“I look forward to both institutions working together in the coming years as we strengthen existing research ties and develop new opportunities for academics and students.”

Hilary Layton, Director of Internationalisation at York, added: “Our research projects in China are increasingly important, and include partnerships in plasma science, safety-critical systems for railways and heritage management.

“We have also been able to facilitate city-to-city contacts between York and Nanjing, through our long partnership with Nanjing University – another of the elite C9 group. These partnerships bring benefits to our research outputs, the career prospects of our students and to the city of York.”

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