The University of Nottingham’s work in building Sino-UK links received high praise at a prestigious national awards ceremony held today in Shanghai.
The British Business Awards is an awards programme organised by the British Chambers of Commerce in China to recognise and promote excellence in innovation enterprise and endeavour in the British business community in China.
The University was one of only five British businesses to be nominated for the British Company of the Year award at the event which was hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
A pioneer in China
The University of Nottingham became the first Western University to establish a campus in China, when it opened the doors to its Ningbo campus in 2004. Starting with just 250 students, the University now boasts a student population of over 5000, consisting of both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The vast majority of students graduating from The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC) go on to work for Fortune 500 companies, or into post-graduate education.
Links with major Chinese businesses
The University has also established excellent links with businesses in China, links that have resulted in many collaborations this year, such as with the car manufacturer FAW, with whom the University is undertaking a £1 million research contract looking at thermal management and heat transfer on low carbon vehicles.
In addition, the University has agreed a collaboration with Beijing Pharma, one of China’s largest pharmaceutical distributors, whose senior executives will, later this year, join the University’s unique transnational development programme in both Ningbo and Nottingham.
The University has also formalised agreements with the food and drink business Wahaha to undertake research in a range of areas, and has worked with China South Rolling Stock to deliver high impact development training.
Training China's leaders of tomorrow
The University’s reputation in China has also resulted in it securing other initiatives, including the Chevening Young Leaders programme. This is a Foreign and Commonwealth programme where talented young people in middle management positions in Chinese organisations undertake a training and development programme in Nottingham.
Earlier this week, the University opened a new Shanghai Nottingham Advanced Academy in collaboration with the East China University of Science and Technology. The Academy will deliver joint courses in Shanghai including periods of study in Nottingham, with teaching and research at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels.
Commitment at the highest level
The University has also demonstrated its commitment to China from the very top of the organisation. In 2001, Professor Yang Fujia became the first Chinese academic to be appointed as Chancellor of a UK university.
In addition, Vice-Chancellor David Greenaway sits on the UK Government’s Asia Taskforce, and Pro-Vice Chancellor Chris Rudd is on the board of the China Britain Business Council. Both bodies work to boost trade between China and the UK.
Professor Yang Fujia, Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “Being nominated for the British Business Award is a great honour for us. We have made huge strides in a relatively short period of time in China, and we have established an excellent reputation amongst officials and businesses in the country.
Thousands of ambassadors for the University and UK
“We currently have over 5,000 talented young people studying with us at our campus in Ningbo, in addition, over 2,800 Chinese students are also studying with us in Nottingham. These are all ambassadors for our University and for the UK, and as the business leaders of the future, they will play a vital role in strengthening the links between our two countries over coming years.”
Continued investment in China facing operations
The University is also continuing to invest in China facing operations in the UK. Last year it set up the Asia Business Centre, which provides a focus for Chinese businesses to work with the University. Also in Nottingham, a new building, the Si Yuan Centre is being built which will educate a new generation of graduates, future business leaders, policy makers and opinion formers, to understand China’s impact on the world economy, politics and society.
The winner of the award was GKN China. Other businesses nominated along with the University were Diageo, Fired Up Corporation and the Intercontinental Hotels Group.
For more information about the support that The University of Nottingham’s Asia Business Centre can offer to businesses that want to work with China, or for details about the University’s other services for business, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/servicesforbusiness