Plymouth joins alliance of top UK-Chinese universities

The University of Plymouth is joining some of the top higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK to forge new and stronger links with China.

Plymouth has been accepted into the UK-Jiangsu 20+20 Alliance, a group that unites the leading universities in the country’s Jiangsu province in a research and education collaboration with British HEIs. 

The alliance places Plymouth alongside the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool and others, with membership promising new opportunities for funding, and staff and student exchange.

The University will contribute its expertise in interdisciplinary working and a focus on technology and creativity, while extending the UK side of the alliance into the South West of England.

In line with the alliance’s three key research focuses of environmental engineering, advanced manufacturing and healthcare, Plymouth will bring strong expertise in marine engineering, digital fabrication and construction, e-health and soft and adaptive robotics.

The announcement is the culmination of efforts stretching back to 2003 to develop ever closer partnerships in Jiangsu province and elsewhere. As a result, the University now has close ties with Nanjing University of the Arts, Jiangnan University and Soochow University, and is developing a new partnership with China University of Mining and Technology. Articulation agreements, where consideration is given to qualifications from partner institutions, also exist with three other Chinese universities.

These relationships have seen joint undergraduate degree programmes in Game Design and Jiangnan respectively, and the recently launched CODEX PhD network, in which students carry out research and receive tuition during periods based in both China and Plymouth.

The invitation to join the alliance is in recognition of this work, and will give the University access to new sources of funding for research, special projects and exchange, from sources such as the British Council, the China Scholarship Council and the Newton Fund.

The University’s involvement in the alliance is being led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor – International Professor Simon Payne, and Dr Gianni Corino, Associate Head of School (International) for the School of Art, Design and Architecture and CODEX network Coordinator.

Professor Payne said:

“Our invitation to join the alliance recognises our previous pioneering work in transnational education projects, many of which already involve close partnership working with members of the group in Jiangsu. This announcement formalises our position as a key UK partner for some of China’s top Universities.”

Dr Corino said:

“Membership of the alliance not only brings huge benefits to our staff and research students, it also promises to boost postgraduate programmes and research collaboration as our international reputation grows. We can now explore further collaborations to share the expertise we have in Plymouth with new partners in Jiangsu and in UK.”