Some of the UK’s leading universities are joining forces with nine of China’s top academic institutions in a new government-backed programme.
The partnership has been set up to build major collaborations around research and education, with an expressed aim of building higher education links and helping to improve the quality of engineering research and teaching in China. On the UK side, the consortium is led by Queen’s University Belfast, and also features the universities of Warwick, Birmingham, Cardiff and Nottingham, as well as University College London.
“The world is facing global engineering challenges, not just in my own area of power generation, control and storage, but across a range of technologies,” said Jihong Wang, professor of Electrical Power & Control Engineering Warwick.
“We need partnerships such as these that pull together the best minds in the UK and Chinese engineering research to take on those challenges and to make a real, positive, difference to our daily lives.”
During a delegation to Shanghai by Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson last year, the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy agreed to award the initiative £200,000. The UK group of universities met formally in the middle of March and had the first face-to-face meeting with the their Chinese partners on 25th March in Beijing to discuss the programme.
The funding is intended to enable the UK universities to create a critical mass in a cluster of key engineering areas, such as energy and advanced manufacturing, and to help maintain the UK’s global standing in light of increasing international competition. The Chinese institutions participating in the initiative include Southeast University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Chongqing University, Dalian University of Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Northwestern Polytechnical University, South China University of Technology, Tianjin University and Tongji University.