University to strengthen academic links with China

Peking University (above) and York University create an exchange programme to strengthen academic links. Image. Kenner116

This week, the University of York and Peking University in Beijing are about to sign a student exchange agreement, which will be finalised by York vice-chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts, via a visit to China.

This five-year agreement will consist of five York undergraduates studying in Peking University for one year and both undergraduates and postgraduates from Peking studying in York.

There is already an established collaboration between the two universities.

Peking University is the academic partner of the University of York for the Jiangning Foundation that in 2011 funded Art History MA scholarships and a programme for visiting academics at the University of York. As well as this the Summer School, which was organised by the Centre for Global Programmes, welcomed 13 Peking undergraduates at York in 2013.

Furthermore, the University of York has important research collaborations with Peking University, including one on atmospheric pollution, led by Professor Ally Lewis at York.

In general, research projects with various universities in China are expanding quickly as Hilary Layton, director of internalisation at York, underlined: “Our research projects in China are increasingly important, and include partnerships in plasma science, safety-critical systems for railways, and heritage management.”

During his visit to China, Professor Lamberts will also meet officials from the China Academy of Science and the Ministry of Science and technology. He will also be attending the UK Russell Group meeting in Shangai with China’s elite C9 universities – which includes Peking University and Nanjing University, another important partner of the University of York.

The visit will also include discussions with senior York alumni on the topics of careers, professional networking and employability. In fact, there are strong alumni groups of York graduates in Beijing and Shangai and nearly 6500 York graduates currently living in China. Professor Lamberts said: “It is important for us to have exchange agreements with leading universities, such as Peking.  Our students benefit enormously from spending part of their degree in another country, and experiencing what other cultures and economies have to offer.”

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