Interview: London seeks more education collaboration with China

2013-10-10 16:29:00 From:

London is seeking more collaboration with China in education, said Kevin McCarthy, Head of Education and Culture of the city.

McCarthy made the comment during an interview with Xinhua after the Times Higher Education published its new world universities rankings Wednesday. According to the rankings, universities from the Chinese mainland climbed up with two edging into top 50 and 10 in the top 400 list.

"Chinese universities are moving up the global rankings," he said. "Ten years ago there were no Chinese universities I remember. And now there are a number."

McCarthy noted that the rising of Chinese universities followed the economic growth of the country. "In another 10 years' time, we will see strong focus on Chinese universities as well. And I also think we will see more collaboration," he said.

An area he mentioned is high-end research.

"High-end research is about collaborative research," he said. "It is not just academics collaborating across universities, it is academics collaborating across countries. If you look at the last 50 years of Nobel awards, the vast majority have been awarded to scientists who have been collaborating across countries."

He also talked about the increase of Chinese students going to seek further education in London.

"In the last 10 years we have seen the rise of the number of students especially from China studying in London's top ranking universities," he said.

The number of Chinese students in London reached a record 14,000 last year, up by 12 percent from the year before, to make China the largest origin of international students in London.

The major reason is the quality of London's universities, McCarthy noted.

"I think the ranking is an amazing achievement for London's universities," he said. "London has four universities in top 40 best in the world, which is more than any other city."

Among the top 200 institutions, London boasts six.

According to McCarthy, London excels in medicine, clinical and life science. "If you look at the ranking for last year, all five of London's medical schools were among the top 400. That's pretty rare. We only have five medical schools and they are all in the best 400 in the world," he said.

In addition, London has good art schools as well. "We saw a rise of 35 percent of Chinese students studying arts and design," he added.

The Chinese students in London, among the elite group, not only made great contribution to the city in various ways, but helped cementing relationship between the two countries.

While expressing his welcome to more Chinese students, McCarthy told Xinhua that Britain is encouraging more British students to study in China as well.

British council started a scholarship-based scheme a few weeks ago to help students going to China.

"We have to see the take-up. But I think it should be popular with students in London as well as in UK, in recognition that China is a rising economic power. Understanding China and speaking Chinese will be valuable in the future," he said, adding that he is learning Chinese as well.

Citing an example of Queen Mary University and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, McCarthy said he is also looking forward to more cooperation between London universities and Chinese universities.

"That's a collaboration very successful for 10 years, with 600 students graduating each year and join in programs. A number of Chinese students come to London to do their post-graduation work within Queen Mary. I see a rise of that kind of university-to-university collaboration, and there will be more and more collaboration in teaching and delivering programs between London and China, and also research between professors."

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is going to visit China in a few days, and McCarthy is going with him.

"We are working with 16 universities in London, and they are all going to be travelling with us to Beijing," he disclosed.

"We will be doing a showcase celebrating the collaboration between London universities and Chinese universities. We will be launching on Sunday the 13th October in Beijing. It will be open to the public for five days. We are encouraging everyone to come along who is interested in education, and interested to see more of the collaboration going on in London."


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