University launches China strategy to strengthen partnership development

The University of Derby has launched a specialist team based in Shanghai, China to help develop and strengthen its global footprint.  

A dedicated in-country team of two experienced staff will support recruitment partners, providing a positive presence in China for the University of Derby on all educational platforms.

China is the country sending the largest amount of international students to the UK Higher Education system and the University has identified the country as a strategic market for growth in international student numbers, outward student mobility, and research collaboration.

The University already has academic collaboration agreements with several key universities in China including the University of Jiangsu, Jiangxi University of Technology, Heifei University and Tongji University. Derby’s Chinese twinning city is Hefei, so the latest announcement further strengthens the relationship between these two cities.    

The China office was officially launched today (Monday, November 6) in Shanghai at a reception hosted by Professor Judith Lamie, Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs, and Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director, as well as Deans and Directors from the University.

Professor Lamie said: “The development of strong and sustainable partnerships is at the heart of the University of Derby’s international strategy.

“We are committed to developing mutually beneficial collaborations and working closely with educational institutions and businesses in China. International partnerships are hugely beneficial and our ambition is to extend our academic and industrial connections worldwide.

“The launch of the China-based team will allow us to develop our existing partnerships in the country as well as oversee the establishment and growth of a network of high quality international institutions.”

During the event, Tony Zhang, a University of Derby graduate and business owner, made an announcement for the establishment of the Derby Chinese Alumni Association, and looks forward to providing Derby alumni with a platform to network.

The announcements come as part of a larger delegation visit to China, including representatives from Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, with a programme of events aimed at developing and strengthening Derby’s relationship with institutions and businesses in the country.

During the trip, the delegation will be visiting the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) – with more than 2,500 exhibitors, where leading UK businesses such as Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce will display their latest technology.

As part of the visit, Sir John Peace, Chairman of both Burberry PLC and the Midlands Engine, will be launching the Midlands Engine China strategy in Shanghai. The Midlands Engine initiative looks to make the East and West Midlands an engine for growth for the UK economy.

Last year, senior professionals from the University of Derby visited Shanghai as part of a Ministerial Delegation led by Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, to further strengthen research collaborations between the UK and China.