A UCL Memorandum of Understanding broadening education collaboration was among high-profile signings at the 2016 UK-China Education Summit and UK-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue in Shanghai.
Katharine Carruthers, UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost (East Asia) and Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Confucius Institute, joined the President of Shanghai Normal University Zhu Ziqiang to sign the agreement demonstrating both institutions’ commitment to working together.
The People-to-People Dialogue is an important part of the UK-China relationship, celebrating policy links in a range of areas, particularly education and health. It brings together key themes of creativity, social equity and women’s equality.
Among senior officials attending were UK Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening MP and Chinese Vice Premier, Liu Yandong and Minister for Education, Chen Baosheng.
IOE Professor for Further Education and Skills, Martin Doel, was part of Justine Greening’s delegation and spoke on technical education at the Education summit.
Katharine Carruthers said: “UCL Institute of Education and Shanghai Normal University, as leaders in education in two such important global cities, have much to gain through collaboration in research and educational development and look forward to developing significant strands of work together in the coming months.”
The unique Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) being delivered by the IOE Confucius Institute received praise from both UK and Chinese educational leaders during the event, as language teaching and assessment were highlighted as vital elements of the bilateral educational relationship under the UK-China Partners in Education Framework. The framework outlines priority areas of co-operation beyond 2016.
The £10 million MEP is funded by the Department for Education and being run in partnership with the British Council; it will see at least 5,000 school pupils in England on track to fluency in Chinese by 2020.
Other notable signings that took place at the Dialogue included a Memorandum of Understanding on UK-China Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Innovation Collaboration, and the British Library and National Library of China partnering to display some of Britain’s most iconic literary treasures in China, including Shakespeare’s First Folio.
Justine Greening, who also serves as Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “The UK and China share many priorities in the field of education, and we both recognise and highly value the benefits of international collaboration.
“Today’s agreements demonstrate our ongoing commitment to working together to build on the strong foundation we have laid over the past decades.”
Jeremy Hunt added: “Both the UK and China have energetic economies, with innovation and creativity at the core. We are both global powers with a global outlook. In a golden era for our two nations, we are working together on global issues, building economies for the future, and developing our strong trade, investment and people-to-people links.”