Science and engineering milestone for University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Researchers at UNNC
01 Feb 1901 12:21:00.000

A new teaching and research facility at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China has marked another milestone in the history of China’s first Sino-foreign university.

The three-storey Science and Engineering building, which had its official opening on September 27th, includes teaching laboratories and seminar and lecture rooms. A special feature is a laboratory for sustainable manufacturing that has received recognition from the Chinese authorities.

This so-called "key laboratory" status is important official acknowledgement that paves the way for research funding opportunities.
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The key laboratory is the second at the University to be given this designation. The other key laboratory is in the University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies building, an iconic structure that resembles a Chinese lantern when lit up at night and is China’s first zero-carbon building.

The University of Nottingham’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, unveiled the plaque highlighting the significance of the 14,000m² Science and Engineering Building, at a launch event at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China’s (UNNC) attractive campus in Ningbo.

Professor Greenaway said: “This is the most important infrastructure development at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China since this campus was officially opened in February 2006. It will undoubtedly accelerate high quality science and engineering at UNNC.”

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China opened its doors in 2004 with a first intake of about 260 students.

Today, UNNC has more than 5,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across three faculties: Science and Engineering; Arts and Humanities; and Social Sciences, which includes a business school.

The University’s new Graduate School has more than 50 PhD students and is expecting this number to increase rapidly following the announcement last week that it will award more than 100 full PhD scholarships in conjunction with The University of Nottingham in the UK.

“As the population has grown, so too has the range of programmes on offer, including a comprehensive array in engineering,” said Professor Greenaway.

“A first-class University must offer high quality teaching and learning to prepare sought after graduates who excel in the world of work, or to be high performing postgraduate students. But a first class University also needs to make a difference through discoveries that matter and by adding value to the community in which it is embedded.”

Professor Greenaway said the building, a “magnificent new addition to our infrastructure at UNNC”, would help the University “make a step change in enriching teaching and learning, creating additional research capacity and building mutually beneficial links with our business partners in Ningbo and Zhejiang”.

It would also provide a foundation for promoting further research cooperation between The University of Nottingham UK and UNNC.

Speaking to guests who included senior representatives of the University and Ningbo city officials, Professor Greenaway said: “I would like to reaffirm our long-term commitment to building our business in this province.

“This building is a physical sign of that commitment and one that will continue to bring the eyes of the world on Ningbo as a bold pioneer of new models of education, innovation and international friendship,” he said.

Professor Nick Miles, UNNC’s Provost and CEO, said: “This event signals the next phase of our development. It builds on the remarkable success of the past seven years.

“We have come a long way in a very short time, producing graduates of the highest calibre, who are successful in securing good jobs or going on to further study at some of the world’s top universities.”

He said the University was building research capacity to help confront some of the most challenging issues facing the world, like security of energy supplies, harnessing the power of the digital economy and building sustainable business models.

In Ningbo, UNNC is playing an important role in addressing the city’s needs and supporting its development plan, said Professor Miles.

“Through support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ningbo Education Bureau, the Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau and the UK Research Councils, we will deliver over 100 research leaders to transform and implement 21st century technologies to address national priorities and global challenges,” he said.

Mr Brian Davidson, Consul General of the British Consulate General in Shanghai, said: “What is going on here, and in the other forms of educational partnership that my colleagues in the British Council work on, will take a leading role in shaping the next stage of the UK-China relationship.

“The UK wants to work with China to address challenges in education. In science and technology too we believe that the UK has much to offer China and much to gain from working jointly.”

Davidson said that the UK is the home of world-class science. “With just one per cent of the world’s population we author nine per cent of its scientific papers and over 14 per cent of the very best,” he noted.

“International cooperation is vital to successful engineering. UK companies have major research investments in China and Chinese research investment in the UK is growing,” said Davidson.

China is already the UK’s second-largest research partner in engineering and computer science and third largest in materials and mathematics. Overall research collaboration between the two countries has quadrupled in a decade — highlighting that there is real demand for centres of excellence such as UNNC, he added.

— Ends —

; or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092,

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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 of Nottingham Ningbo China was opened in 2004 with the Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor Yang Fujia, as its founding President. 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.

Story credits

For more information please contact: Professor Gethin Wyn Roberts, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China on +86(0) 574 8822 2623,; Jackie Hadland, Communications Officer, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China on +86 (0) 574 8818 0940, +86-134 2935 5876,

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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