China’s Premier Wen Jiabao paid a surprise visit to the students and staff at The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China on Friday, April 8.
Premier Wen visited the University during a tour of Zhejiang province, and was welcomed by the University’s Provost and Chief Executive Officer, Professor Nick Miles.
Premier Wen spent two hours at the University, first shaking hands with students in the crowd of hundreds who gathered outside the administration building to welcome him, and then moving on to chat to business students about their research projects.
The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC) is a unique international university in China.
It was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China in 2004, with the Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor Yang Fujia, as its founding President. Professor Yang, the first Chinese academic elected to such a role in a British university, originally hails from Ningbo.
The University has just under 5,000 students, recruited from China’s first division – the tier of students with the highest grades – and dozens of other countries. All degree programmes are taught in English and students receive a British-style education and UK degrees from The University of Nottingham.
China’s Premier told the students: “I am very happy to be here to see international students and Chinese students learning together and developing together. This is like an international family.”
He said of The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China: “The location is here, but the University has a world view, so students also have a global perspective. To international students, I would ask you to regard this as your home.”
Premier Wen told staff and students that Professor Yang Fujia was one of his very close friends and regularly spoke to him about education.
He took more than a dozen questions from students on a range of topics, from whether he would like a housework robot to help him with his chores when he retires, to how he sees China’s role in the future.
Premier Wen replied that he did not need a robot, because he and his grandson can handle the chores. China’s priority was to handle its own problems well and not make trouble in the world, he said.
Professor Miles said: “We are hugely honoured and very proud that Premier Wen decided to take some time out of his busy schedule to come and see us. This is important acknowledgement for us that we are contributing to educational change in China in a positive way.
“We are still a young University here in China and our graduates are already making an impact in the business world, science and research and their communities.
“Our 100 per cent employment rate among our graduates is testimony to the high calibre of students we attract here and also highlights that the education they receive here equips them to thrive in a challenging, globalised work environment,” said Professor Miles.
The University regularly receives important visitors from China and elsewhere in the world who are interested in learning more about its success in China.
This is the first time Premier Wen has visited the campus, in the vibrant city of Ningbo. Late last year, Premier Wen met The University of Nottingham’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, in Beijing where he was part of a delegation led by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Professor Greenaway said: “We are delighted and honoured by the visit of Premier Wen, which is a testament to the huge achievements of UNNC and reflects the support we have had in China over a long period.
“The University of Nottingham offers a distinctive education, which is valued by students and employers alike. It also plays a leading research role in China, particularly in globalisation, business and the development of low-carbon technologies. We’re very pleased that Premier Wen had the opportunity to meet some of our students and see these achievements at first hand.”
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PICTURED above: Professor Nick Miles (Provost and CEO of the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China) meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
May Fest 2011 is on Saturday 7 May, 11am to 5.30pm, at The University of Nottingham. TheUniversity is throwing open its doors to the community – with heaps of free activities for all ages. The Physics Buskers, thunder and lightning on demand and brain games. Get a glimpse of some of the amazing things that are happening on your doorstep. Visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/mayfest
Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news