Celebrations have begun to mark the 10th anniversary of The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) — the first foreign independent university campus to be established in China. Pictures from the official launch ceremony can be found here.
UNNC opened its doors to students in 2004 and the campus had its official opening in February 2006.
A series of events are planned over the next 12 months to celebrate key milestones in its history and a specially created website tracks the story of its development. The website includes historic information about UNNC including a timeline, photographs showing the development of the purpose-built campus in Ningbo, and student and alumni achievements over the past 10 years.
UNNC is a partnership between The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and Zhejiang Wanli Education Group, a key player in the education sector in China. The collaboration was made possible thanks to legislation passed in 2003 in China that permitted the establishment of Sino-foreign universities in the country, in order to encourage new learning opportunities for Chinese students.
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor at The University of Nottingham, said: "We have much to celebrate. The creation of UNNC required vision, belief and leadership; its continuing growth and maturity also requires these qualities, as well as perseverance and strong partnership.
"It is impossible to build a great University without great people. It does not matter how great your campus is, how great your laboratories are. If you do not have great people, you cannot build a great University.
"We have great people: we recruit high quality students; we recruit high quality and dedicated staff; we produce great graduates.
"But, as a Sino-Foreign University, we also need great partnerships. And we have great partnerships. The relationship between WEG and the University of Nottingham is a partnership built on strength and will go from strength to strength."
Closing his speech, Professor Greenaway recalled the old Chinese proverb. He said: “If you are planning for a year, plant rice. If you are planning for a decade, plant trees. If you are planning for a lifetime, educate the people. At UNNC, we are planning for a lifetime.
April 2014 marks a decade since the ground-breaking ceremony took place for the construction of the University, while September 2004 saw the first preliminary year students begin, studying mainly arts and social science subjects.
From fewer than 300 predominately Chinese students when it opened, the University now has more than 6,000 students from more than 60 countries worldwide, creating a truly international environment in which to study. Subjects offered now include engineering, science and education, as well as the arts and social sciences courses that were available when the campus opened.
Professor Nick Miles, Provost at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, said: “I’m extremely honoured to be here at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China as it celebrates its 10th birthday and of what has been achieved since we opened.
“The events and activities planned over the year are intended not only to celebrate the key milestones in our history but to also celebrate the people that have contributed to what UNNC is today — from our students, our alumni and our past and present staff.
“Looking to the future, we want to develop and enhance the student community, to maintain excellence in the provision of teaching and learning and to deliver high-impact research to address global challenges as well as the city and region’s needs.”
Events planned throughout the year since becoming the first Sino-foreign university in China include receptions at the British Embassies in Beijing and London, and international conferences and a student summit at the UNNC campus.
A campaign on social media channels Sina Weibo and Twitter will gather people’s memories of UNNC, using the hashtag #UNNCmemories.
A full transcript of Professor Greenaway's speech can be found on his blog -From the Vice Chancellor's Desk.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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