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Enter the dragons

18 September 2015

Flag of the People's Republic of China
Flag of the People's Republic of China

China’s highest ranking female politician will today oversee the signing of an historic agreement between Wales’s leading university and a top 10 Chinese University.

Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Liu Yandong, will mark a UK first when she unveils a plaque in Cardiff today symbolising the launch of a new college jointly led by Cardiff University and Beijing Normal University.

Students of the new Cardiff-Beijing Chinese Studies Joint College will follow a collaboratively developed curriculum in Chinese Language and Cultural Studies leading to a dual undergraduate award by both universities.

The first and last years of the four-year degree programme will be taught in Cardiff with the intervening years being taught in Beijing. Students of the new degree will be required to undertake a work placement or internship in China to increase their employability after graduation.

Graduates of the college will develop Chinese language skills and learn cultural codes from their counterpart country, with a view to increasing commercial and cultural links between China and Wales.

The establishment of the new college is an exciting step in the University’s drive to cultivate an increasingly international student experience, and will in years to come contribute greatly to bolstering cultural and business links between Wales and China.

Colin Riordan Vice-Chancellor

The new college will mirror existing joint colleges between UK and Chinese universities which are hosted in China teaching cohorts of Chinese students. What marks out the new college is that the degree will be delivered both in the UK and Carwynb China to a mix of students from both countries.

The launch is supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education and is regarded as a key driver behind the Ministry’s ambitions to internationalise its higher education system and develop better cultural understanding between the UK and China.

Building and strengthening educational links between China and Wales will benefit both countries and I welcome the establishment of this new joint college as well as the other agreements between Cardiff University and Chinese partners concluded today.

Carwyn Jones, AM First Minister of Wales

Also backed by the Ministry is the establishment of a new Joint Institute of Medicine and Life Science; an agreement between Cardiff and Capital Medical University, signed today, which sets out investment in a new programme of collaborative research worth £5.2M – with £2.6M invested by both parties - over a five-year period.

Building on an existing breast cancer research collaboration, the Cardiff-Capital Medical University agreement will support the development of research for new treatments in areas that include cancer, public health, immunology, neuroscience and infectious diseases.

It offers the opportunity for Welsh researchers to work with their Chinese counterparts to access huge datasets, which will serve to accelerate the pace of research, particularly in areas where frequency of disease is low in Wales.

A new scholarship agreement will also be signed today, which covers the development of an Executive Education Programme by Cardiff University’s Business School to deliver a series of three-month programmes in public administration to senior university administration staff.

Under the agreement, Cardiff University will become the main training hub for the China Scholarships Council in the UK, further cementing education and cultural ties between Wales and China.

The visit of the Chinese Vice Premier, Liu Yandong, accompanied by a delegation including the Chinese Minister for Education, Yuan Guiren, sits as part of events surrounding the ‘People to People Dialogue’ – the UK and China’s bi-lateral forum for discussion of issues relating to education, culture and health.

The signing ceremony and launch of the Cardiff-Beijing Normal University will be held in Cardiff University’s Main Building Council Chamber.