Building on the success of the Generation UK China initiative of the British Council to encourage and fund more Brits to study or intern in China, a new Generation UK: China Network was formally launched last week with a much more impressive 80,000 outbound student target over the next four years.
A new era in UK-China relations, a "golden era" was celebrated by UK senior stakeholders and the Chinese Ambassador laying hands on the globe
Signalling the Chinese support for this commitment, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, announced that the Chinese government would also offer the UK a “gift” to cement a “golden era” in China-UK relations, and it will fund 50 scholarships to enable short-term study of the Mandarin language.
The mis-match between Chinese outbound student numbers and British student numbers was noted by some of the Chinese speakers during the event, which had many alumni of the Generation UK China scheme in the audience.
But stronger student flows are anticipated as the UK and China pledge a strong commitment to build student exchange.
The British Council’s China Director, Carma Elliot OBE, told The PIE News, “We have stretching targets to 2020, a cumulative total of 80,000 young students.”
Targets were originally 15,000 over a shorter period, but Elliot explained that the British Council wanted to commit within the period of the current government to grow greater engagement with China, to build on the programme’s success.
“Also on the Chinese side, there is a lot of support from the China Scholarships Council, individual provinces, and wider government to encourage more British students out there, in terms of their own internationalisation policies as well,” added Elliott. “So it’s the right time to be doing this and it’s gone down very well.”
Chinese Ambassador Liu announced the gift of government-funded scholarships, new to any existing offer, and commented, “Let’s help increase the friendship between young people of our two countries. If we want 1,000 years of prosperity then we need to grow relations.” - thepienews
22 Apr 2016
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