The University of Nottingham Ningbo China celebrates 20 years

At the University of Nottingham, we embrace diversity in culture, spirit and thinking. It’s why we were the first UK university to establish campuses overseas at the turn of the new Millennium: first in Malaysia and then in China.

This year, our community of students and staff have come together to celebrate the value of a truly global community with their birthday wishes to our China campus, which turns 20 years old.

These celebrations culminated in a prestigious gala event on the campus on Saturday 13 April, attended in person by over 1,000 students, staff, alumni and distinguished guests, with many more joining the celebrations online around the world.

UNNC celebration A

A gala to remember!

The evening began with a light show illuminating the auditorium, taking guests through the significant milestones of UNNC’s two decade journey.

A humanoid robot then took to the stage to surprise the audience as it initiated an orchestral performance which officially opened the gala!

The celebration retraced UNNC's glorious journey into the past, retracing its thriving growth to the present, and envisioning the boundless possibilities in the future through three chapters: Memories of the past, Seizing the moment, and Creating the future.

UNNC celebration B

Visionary speeches

Madam Yafen Xu, Chair of UNNC Board, Professor Shearer West, the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, and Professor Jon Garibaldi, Provost of UNNC, delivered speeches as representatives of UNNC’s cooperative education partners from both China and the UK.

Madam Xu recalled the original aspiration for founding UNNC in 2004 amid China’s integration into the global economy: the wish to bring world-class educational resources to China and to cultivate versatile talents with both an international perspective and a deep understanding of China.

Following the speeches, the modern dance "Time Walker" paid homage to the founders who established Sino-foreign educational collaborations.

Vocal performances such as "Memories on Taikang East Road" and "Forever Young" provided glimpses into UNNC’s vibrant campus life and the lasting friendships made.

The dynamic street dance "Future is Now" then showcased the bold ambitions of UNNC students, geared towards shaping a limitless future.

UNNC fast facts

  • University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China in 2004.
  • At UNNC there are over 9,000 students and more than 7% are from China's Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan regions and other overseas countries.
  • There are over 900 members of staff, split across academic and professional services.
  • Our staff and students come from about 70 countries and regions around the world.
  • The University is situated in a 144 acre (584,666m²) campus in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.
  • It has three faculties: Business, Science and Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • It offers 29 undergraduate courses and 18 postgraduate taught courses.

Global wishes and celebrations

The celebration also featured congratulatory video messages from the other two University of Nottingham campuses in the UK and Malaysia, highlighting the tight-knit international community of the University of Nottingham family.

The event reached its climax with the cake-cutting ceremony by university leaders, accompanied by spectacular fireworks, electrifying the atmosphere.

The 20th anniversary theme song "Fiery Stars" captured the enduring spirit of UNNC, echoing through the auditorium as a vow to continue breaking boundaries and chasing dreams.