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Bringing Wales to the world

18 November 2016

Cardiff University and Xiamen University signing ceremony
L-R: First Minister Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, Ex-Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University and President Zhu, Xiamen University

Cardiff University has today signed a partnership agreement with Xiamen University to increase collaborative research, share education best practice and create more opportunities for student and staff exchange.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University said: “We are extremely pleased to be extending our long-standing relationship with Xiamen. International partnerships like this are critical to continuing the global reach and reputation of our research and bringing Wales to the world.”

The agreement was signed by President Zhu of Xiamen University and Professor Colin Riordan Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, with the First Minister of Wales in attendance.

President Zhu of Xiamen University said: “Our new partnership agreement with Cardiff University is the product of a longstanding and productive relationship that we’re delighted to be building on..."

"We share Cardiff’s international ambition and look forward to collaborating on new and innovative projects that can deliver benefits for both China and Wales."

President Zhu Chongshi Former President of Xiamen University

Cardiff became the first city in the UK to twin with a city in China when it partnered with Xiamen more than thirty years ago and during that time Cardiff and Xiamen universities have also developed close collaboration in a number of fields of mutual interest, including areas of strength for Cardiff such as catalysis.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: “I welcome today’s agreement between Cardiff and Xiamen Universities and the opportunity to once again make clear that overseas students will always be welcome in Wales..."

“Post Brexit, we need a higher education system that allows institutions to continue to collaborate freely and to work together across the globe. A system that allows our students to travel and study in other countries and ensures Wales continues to be a welcoming place for those from abroad to learn and to work."

Carwyn Jones AM First Minister of Wales

“These collaborations must continue. We will work with universities to make sure that these bridges are maintained and strengthened in years to come.”

Professor Riordan commented: “Our collaborative work with academic partners across the world produces research with real impact that can tackle global challenges. Our relationship with Xiamen is already helping to create more sustainable cities, as our School of Geography and Planning works with Xiamen University and Xiamen’s Planning and Design Institute to establish a Research Centre for Liveable and Ecological Cities. Researchers in the centre will work together to examine how we can enhance the quality of life and ecologies of cities in China and the UK in the context of urban growth.”

Main Buildings, Xiamen University
Xiamen University

Amongst the previous benefits of the growing relationship between Cardiff and Xiamen is the creation of a Confucius Institute at Cardiff in 2008. The Institute delivers an extensive programme of Chinese language education, promotes Chinese culture in Wales and supports collaboration between Wales and China. Additionally, Cardiff Business School and Xiamen University School of Management and Economics have an existing formal agreement on joint PhD student supervision and have co-organized two joint symposia held in Xiamen in 2015 and Cardiff in 2016 respectively.

Benefits under the new agreement include the development of collaborative training of researchers through co-supervision of doctoral students, as well as a joint fund to provide £1.2m worth of seed corn funding for collaborative research projects that can attract external funding and create new trade links for Wales.

“International partnerships, students and staff help UK universities support regional economies, supply high level graduate skills and ensure the sustainability of many courses at regional level. Our growing number of Chinese students also increase the number of high-calibre international students studying at our university and developing skills that can ultimately benefit the UK, whether it be directly through joint research projects or by bringing business back to the country later in their careers.”

Professor Colin Riordan President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

The University has a long-standing relationship with China, with 49 formal academic links and strategic partnership agreements with universities across the country for both research collaboration and student exchange.

To celebrate the new partnership with Xiamen University, Cardiff University Chamber Choir and the Xiamen University Arts Group performed a concert at the Reardon Smith Theatre, Cardiff, on 17 November 2016. In ‘A Glimpse of China’ the Xiamen University Arts group presented traditional Chinese dance, including martial dance, song and instrumental music. Cardiff University Chamber Choir opened the concert with songs composed by Hubert Parry.

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