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Friday 12 December 2014

Chinese Ministry of Education visit Solent

Over recent weeks, Southampton Solent has welcomed two delegations from China who are keen to find out more about the higher education provision in the UK and the University’s particular specialisms. The visits also form part of the University’s internationalisation strategy of encouraging strong links with education institutions and businesses across the world.

“We are actively working to bring people into the University and create new partnerships that will enable our students to study overseas, our graduates to work globally and encourage strong links with organisations who have international offices,” says Mike Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, “it is an important step in ensuring our students are better prepared for a global future.”

On the 27 November Professor Mike Wilkinson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Huaiyin Institute of Technology, China on 27 November. Through the MOU, the Huaiyin Institute of Technology – a multi-disciplinary engineering institute with 18,000 students based in Jiangsu Province – and Southampton Solent will explore joint programmes including student and staff exchange and international projects.

Prof Mike Wilkinson and Dr Zhang Yue sign the Memorandum of Understanding, with Prof Chudley and Zhu Zhonghua, Director of the Office of Teacher Development Centre, as witnesses

Dr Zhang Yue, Chairman of the Council, who led the delegation from Huaiyin praised Southampton Solent for its impressive inter-disciplinary courses and employment initiatives.

Employability is a challenge in China, with an average of seven million students graduating each year. Solent Creatives – the University’s creative agency that matches students and graduates with local business and organisations, so impressed the delegation that Dr Zhang plans to introduce a similar model within Huaiyin Institute of Technology.
At the beginning of December the University hosted a second delegation of 23 Chinese university presidents and leaders from China’s Ministry of Education’s National Academy for Education Administration.

Following their visit to Imperial College London, the delegation arrived at Southampton Solent to take part in training, workshop and knowledge transfer sessions in areas such as student entrepreneurship, managing quality and student support. They were also keen to learn more about the University’s areas of specialism such as marine engineering, the creative industries and sport.

Leader of the delegation, Professor Chen Hong, President of Hunan University of Science and Engineering thanked Southampton Solent Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Baldwin, for their warm welcome.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation he went on to talk about how impressed they were with the cutting-edge facilities and professional courses at Southampton Solent.
Impressed with the academic provision, facilities and real world work experiences at the University, an understanding was reached between Southampton Solent and five educational institutions in China including Suzhou University and the Hunan University of Science and Engineering.

Delegates also ventured out of the classroom to tour the facilities, take to the water at Timsbury Lake, and cheer on Team Solent Football Club at their football match on Tuesday evening.

Speaking about the plans for the future Professor Mike Wilkinson says, “They reflect the wishes of both ourselves and these Chinese institutions to explore areas for mutual collaboration, which may include widening the educational and career opportunities of students and both institutions, the possible creation of academic and professional staff exchange and collaborations in research and curricula.”