Students Staff

21 October 2016

Latest China visit by our Vice-Chancellor celebrates Chinese alumni and strengthens international links

Celebration of achievement in China

University of Essex Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster has been visiting China for the third time in 12 months to build on the links he has developed with Chinese businesses and universities.

He also took the opportunity to celebrate Essex graduates who have returned to China after completing their studies. During his 12-day visit the Vice-Chancellor attended a special celebration event for Chinese alumni at Le Royal Meridien in Shanghai - the first event of its kind staged in China by the University.

During the celebration event in Shanghai Professor Forster presented the Alumnus of the Year Award 2017 to inspirational language teacher Jianwei Zheng.

Professor Forster is pleased with the progress made over the year. He said: “We are really lucky to have developed strong links with businesses and universities in China over the last year. This latest visit includes advanced discussions with potential education and research partners who are keen to work with the University of Essex.

“I am delighted I was able to join in our special celebration for Essex graduates in China. We have a very talented community of more than 3,000 alumni in China and one of the highlights of my visits over the past year has been to hear from our fantastic graduates who are achieving amazing things across a whole range of fields,”

Professor Forster is looking to build on existing connections with the business community in Jiangsu and visited the headquarters of Wowface Technologies to meet with director Sun Lihua to discuss possible projects. He also met with representatives at Nanjing plus Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute - which visited the University of Essex's Colchester Campus earlier this year.

Links with businesses in Jiangsu Province have been supported by Essex International, Essex County Council’s international trade team which promotes economic opportunities facilitated by their longstanding, 27 year, partnership between Jiangsu and Essex County Council.

Alongside meetings with business representatives Professor Forster travelled to the ancient city of Xi’an to visit Northwest University and the major economic centre of Chongqing to visit Sichuan International Studies University.

The University of Essex is one of the most international universities in the world. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked Essex in the top 20 for international outlook based on the proportion of international students and academics within the university community plus the level of research collaboration.

More than 1,000 Chinese students are studying at the University of Essex’s three campuses. The University’s international community includes many leading academics from China and the university has research links in several key sectors including robotics. It has also delivered targeted training for Chinese businesses and organisations including a bespoke course for Chinese-based state-owned businesses.

The visit is part of a longer term strategy to nurture links with China across education and business. Professor Forster’s previous visit to China included visits to the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA) in Beijing; South Western University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) in Chengdu; Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou; Nanjing Normal University; Nanjing University and Southeast University in Nanjing.

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