Top level delegation aims to foster closer ties between China and Cumbria

Top level delegation aims to foster closer ties between China and Cumbria

An exciting collaboration between the University of Cumbria and Chinese universities was strengthened further following a successful visit led by Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell.

During an intensive four-day visit, a team from Cumbria visited four universities to further existing partnership, focussed on students and staff travelling to China and vice versa to engage in academic work.

One of these universities Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University is a prestigious university in the Zhejiang province, with strengths in forestry, agriculture, environment and business.  The institution, which is based in an area with broad similarities to Ambleside (the home of the UK’s National School of Forestry) has specialities in ecological endeavour, bamboo processing, tea culture, and landscape design.  Professor Mennell discussed areas of common ground including forestry, the environment, joint research linked to national parks and protected areas and the visitor economy.

Professor Mennell said:  “Student exchanges and joint research interests are key areas of common interest and will bring many benefits to staff and students across each university.”

As well as discussions around academic collaboration the delegation were treated to a traditional cultural ceremony involving traditional tea tasting.

The visit also opened up the possibility of further links between China and Cumbria with a research conference discussed with academics from the University of Cumbria invited to take part.

Jiaxing University, based on the South Lake in the Zhejiang Province, is an existing partner of the University and has disciplines in economics, management, engineering, science, liberal arts, medicine, law and education.  During the visit further talks took place to consider degrees, particularly in health related areas, the development of joint academic and research platforms along with academic exchanges.

The visit was the latest in a series of links established between China and Cumbria that has seen regular exchanges already take place. Students from China are already studying at University’s Business School while last month an arts delegation visited the Brampton Road campus.

Both the university’s President, Professor Sheng Song'en, and Professor Mennell discussed the possibility that more UK students could travel to China for study and further talks are set to take place.

Professor Mennell said: “This kind of visit develops further our international collaboration as we look to explore new areas, where the unique skills, location and ties we have in Cumbria can benefit our partners across the globe, alongside benefiting our University and Cumbria.”

Pictured: Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell with President of Jiaxing University Mr Song’en Sheng