The Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP, has visited Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University as part of an official visit to China, which focused on innovation and higher education collaboration between the UK and Jiangsu province.
This is the first visit by a UK Minister to XJTLU. Mr Johnsonwas joined on campus by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Patrick Hackett, delegates from the UK and important Chinese guests and officials, including Xiaochang Ding, deputy director of the Jiangsu Province Department of Education.
In order to celebrate the collaborative relationship between the UK and Jiangsu province, Mr Johnson witnessed the signing of six new agreements to deepen collaboration in research, innovation and higher education.
These included a collaboration between XJTLU, the British Council, and financial services provider Gold Finance to introduce scholarships for British students to study in China.
As part of the visit, Mr Johnson also addressed students and staff at a lecture. His speech highlighted the UK’s commitment to international engagement through transnational education programmes with China. He said: “We want to work with China to address the challenges in education, to develop globally aware citizens equipped with the skills and cultural understanding that is essential in today’s globalised economy”.
He noted the high standard of the education on offer at XJTLU, reiterating to students that they would acquire “some of the most desirable qualifications available from any institution anywhere in the world” and that they were the future of UK-China partnerships.
While at XJTLU’s newly-opened South Campus, Mr Johnson unveiled the University’s International Research Centre, which will serve as a hub for entrepreneurship, research commercialisation, and international technology transfer, driving economic activity in Suzhou and the surrounding region.
Mr Johnson also toured XJTLU’s campus including the University’s Enterprise Park facilities, which provides space to XJTLU students and alumni to house fledgling businesses and start-ups.