World / Europe

UK's University of Birmingham sets up China Institute

By Zhang Chunyan in Birmingham, UK ( Updated: 2012-12-14 17:06

The University of Birmingham in the UK launched its China Institute on Thursday to broaden its engagement with China.

The institute will provide an umbrella structure for the numerous China interests on the university's campus in the central English city's Edgbaston district.

Its activities will include coordinating an annual lecture series to promote a greater understanding of China and its place in the world, hosting visits from Chinese partners, providing a central source for information on the university's engagement with China, and encouraging inter-disciplinary research across the campus that focuses on China.

"Our China Institute marks an important milestone in our longstanding relationship with China," Professor David Eastwood, the university's vice-chancellor, said.

"Last year, we opened our landmark center in Guangzhou. This year, in creating the China Institute, we are reaffirming Birmingham's deep and robust commitment to engagement with the country."

The Birmingham Guangzhou Center was set up in coordination with the Guangzhou Municipal Government to establish joint research and education initiatives in Guangzhou and the wider region.

Professor Edward Peck, head of the College of Social Sciences at the university, has been appointed to chair the China Institute.

"Every college of the university is engaging in meaningful collaborations with Chinese partners. The China Institute will bring together this broad spectrum of research, providing a central hub for the numerous, and growing, China interests across the Edgbaston campus," he said.

The history of collaboration between China and the university spans more than 100 years and it now also has a representative office in Shanghai.

"The first Chinese students came to the University of Birmingham in 1907 to study for degrees in a variety of subjects," Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, ,said in his speech at the launch ceremony.

Following the ceremony, Zhao Fuquan, vice-president of Geely Holdings China, presented the inaugural China Institute guest lecture on "The China automotive industry — today and tomorrow".

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