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Member News: Chinese Deputy Minister of Education visits University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus

BritCham / CBBC
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BritCham- CBBC member gets a visit from government education official.

Du Yubo, China’s Deputy Minister of Education, visited The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) earlier this week- a sign that the pioneering university has impressed the country’s leaders at the highest levels.

Mr Du, the second most powerful politician in education with overall responsibility of higher education in China, said during his visit to UNNC on 5 December that he expects the internationalisation of China’s higher education institutes to become a trend. He encouraged the University to keep developing its strengths, in particular placing teaching and learning at the top of its priority list and generally placing students at the centre of all its plans.

“It is important to keep and develop your unique features as a competitive advantage and keep developing high quality talented graduates to cater for local demand,” said Mr Du.

Professor Nick Miles, Provost and CEO of UNNC, gave Mr Du a comprehensive briefing on the University’s future plans, which include developing science and engineering to help address national research requirements and knowledge transfer.

“Within the next few years our plan is to grow,” he said, pointing out that the University now has more than 5,000 students and more than 400 staff members from over 40 countries around the world.

Professor Miles said the ultimate test of the University’s success is the value employers placed on hiring UNNC graduates.

The kind of employers who want our graduates are international companies looking for skills sets that would help them as they stretch into the world, he said.
“This is the external world measuring our graduates, so it is a very important point,” said Professor Miles.

In addition to excelling in academic fields, UNNC students are making valuable contributions to their immediate communities as well as those in need elsewhere.
Each year about 1,500 students volunteer in various communities, providing teaching and support at kindergartens and primary schools, helping autistic children and generally giving to others in less developed provinces and regions.

The University’s students are also making their mark in international university competitions, he told Mr Du.
A group of Students In Free Enterprise won the national trophy in a challenging social entrepreneurship competition that entailed designing sustainable income creation projects for disadvantaged last year. At the weekend students will compete in the regional finals of the China Daily/21st Century Cup National English Speaking Competition, to be held this year at UNNC, said Professor Miles.

Madame Xu Yafen, head of the Zhejiang Wanli Education Group, gave Mr Du an overview of how the first Sino-foreign university came into being.
“The key point is that almost all the Chinese universities are teacher-centred and students just listen to what is taught and have to memorise.

“We realised the need to bring in some new educational ideas and systems. It required bold thinking to start a Sino-foreign university,” said Madame Xu, who played a key role in the launch of UNNC.

Read the full press release click here


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