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CASS visit fosters international research collaboration

2 December 2016

CASS and Martin

The School of Social Sciences recently hosted a delegation of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) for two weeks in November as part of an ongoing collaborative research project funded by a British Academy Newton Grant.

This visit which took place from the 7 to 18 of November is part of an ongoing project operating under the broad theme of “Improving Social Welfare System in China: Urbanisation, Community Development and Social Participation”.

The project, which commenced in March 2016, involves four bilateral research visits to Cardiff University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing- the premier academic research organization in the fields of philosophy and social sciences and a national centre for comprehensive studies in the People’s Republic of China. It is funded by the British Academy and CASS's Newton Advanced Fellowship programme which enables international researchers to establish and develop collaborations with the UK with the intention of transferring knowledge and research capabilities.

CASS discussion

Dr Tom Hall, Head of the School of Social Sciences, said about the visit: “We are one of the largest and most successful interdisciplinary schools of social science in the UK, with a global reputation for theoretically informed empirical work of the highest standard..."

Tom Hall

"Our academic standing has been secured and enhanced over the years by a series of international links, visits, exchanges and partnerships. The CASS visit represents the most recent of these and the whole School is delighted to play host to such distinguished guests.”

Professor Tom Hall, Head of School
CASS and Head of School

The delegation comprised of a team of five researchers from CASS’s Institute of Sociology with diverse research interests that span across social policy and social welfare but also on communities, urban studies and anthropology:

  • Lin Xiao, Associate Professor
  • Jia Yu, Assistant Professor
  • Yuntong Shi, Assistant Professor
  • Jinglin Xiang, Researcher
  • Yiran Liu, Researcher

Dr Sin Yi Cheung, Director for International and Engagement and principal investigator for the project, hosted the delegation along with the close support of other staff members in the School and participants in the project, including Professor Susan Baker, Professor Paul Chaney, Dr Rod Hick and Dr Marco Pomati.

Sin Yi Cheung

“It was delightful hosting the CASS scholars the last two weeks, who got a real flavour of the research power of the diverse research interests and expertise in the School from CASCADE, PLACE, WISERD, Communities First, poverty and deprivation, education and work, welfare and governance models to gender inequality."

Professor Sin Yi Cheung, Professor of Sociology

The two week visit had a packed programme that allowed the delegation to not only visit and exchange ideas with the various research groups, academics and researchers within the School, but allowed for cultural and historical exchange and education through tours of areas of interest including Chapter Arts Centre, The Senedd and Merthyr Tydfil.

Merthyr visit

The aim of the visits to these areas was to acquaint the Chinese delegation with the history, heritage and the wider social environment of the Cardiff city region while giving them the opportunity to meet people from the community who have been working with the University on various community regeneration initiatives.

The feedback from the CASS delegation on the completion of the visit was insightful and overwhelmingly positive. Yuntong Shi, Assistant Professor from CASS said:

“The overall programme was really fantastic and rewarding. It gives us great opportunity to understand and gain insights into the School of Social Sciences and its research, and also helps us to know more about the UK welfare model and current situations."

Yuntong Shi, Asst. Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

"The warm comments and discussions after presenting our research also greatly enhanced our mutual understanding and will be very useful for our further research and collaboration.”

Plans are already underway for the School's return visits to Beijing in June and September 2017 as this collaborative research project continues.

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