Leicester’s links with China are strengthened by Vice-Chancellor visit

The University of Leicester strengthened its ties with China with a successful visit to the country, led by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nishan Canagarajah.

The eight-day tour saw Professor Canagarajah and his delegation visit the University’s key strategic partner institutions, stakeholders, alumni and student recruitment agents.

The delegation met with Leicester’s first and largest international partner, Dalian University of Technology (DUT) and its teaching campus, in Panjin. In 2017, the partners established the Dalian Leicester Institute (DLI), which offers three undergraduate degree programmes in Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics.

Professor Canagarajah met with the DUT leadership, and expressed Leicester’s commitment to the partnership and its growth, which includes an ambition to offer additional degree programmes at DLI in the future – subject to approval by the Chinese Ministry of Education.  The Leicester team also met with Panjin campus students for a question and answer session, while Professor Sarah Davies, Leicester’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Science and Engineering presented a scientific lecture for undergraduates.

In Chongqing, the Vice-Chancellor and Professor Tom Robinson, Leicester Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Life Sciences, met with representatives of Chongqing Medical University (CQMU). The megacity of Chongqing has been twinned with Leicester since 1993 and close links continue to be developed between both cities. Leicester and CQMU teamed up in 2019 to offer a joint educational programme in Clinical Sciences (awarded by the University of Leicester) and Clinical Medicine (awarded by CQMU). The programme provides an option for students to undertake a year of study at the University of Leicester.

Professor Canagarajah and Professor Tom Robinson met students and key staff from CQMU, while Professor Robinson also delivered a presentation on his research.

The trip also saw the delegation meet with the Chinese Ministry of Education and the China Scholarship Council, which provides support and funding for Chinese postgraduate research students completing their PhDs abroad. Each year, 25 Chinese students will receive funding from the China Scholarship Council to enrol onto Leicester PhD programmes from September 2024 onwards.

In Beijing, the delegation also held a reception for University alumni and student recruitment agents.

The event saw guest Dr Kim John Ly tell the audience about his experiences of studying Medicine at the University of Leicester and his subsequent successful career as a family physician.

Dr Ly said: “My journey began with a dream: to become a physician. The University of Leicester played a pivotal role in turning this dream into a reality. Leicester’s medical degree programme challenged me academically, instilled in me the values of compassion and patient care, and prepared me for the challenges of the medical profession.

“The knowledge and skills I gained at Leicester have been the bedrock of my career as a family physician. It’s not just about medical knowledge; it’s about becoming a responsible and empathetic caregiver. My years in Leicester have been instrumental in shaping the compassionate physician I am today.

“Leicester’s diverse and inclusive environment prepared me to embrace cultural differences and foster a sense of unity amidst diversity.”

Reflecting on the visit, which took place between Saturday 28 October and Sunday 5 November, and Professor Canagarajah said: “This was a tremendously successful and productive visit. The warm and gracious welcome and kind hospitality extended to us provided a measure of the strength of our relationship. It is clear that our partnerships will grow and it remains a strategic priority for the University to enhance the potential of our links for the benefit of staff, students and alumni.”

The University recently refreshed its Chinese-language website which provides information for potential applicants.

It has also announced it has limited availability for Master’s programmes with a January 2024 start, which can be undertaken by international students. To find out more visit the January 2024 postgraduate course page of the website.