Bishop Grosseteste University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor has attended an Educational Exchange in Hunan Province in China as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s endeavours to strengthen relationships and socio-economic prosperity of the two regions.
Professor Jayne Mitchell attended the event following the signing of an economic friendship agreement with Hunan Province by the county council.
The educational exchange programme focused on developing relationships between universities and strategic bodies such as the education and economic development departments in provincial and county governments.
It was co-ordinated by the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Hunan Provincial People’s Government of China and the Hunan Provincial Education Department.
The week-long programme involved visits to three cities in Hunan Province (Changsha, Changde and Zhangjiajie), introductions to senior officials in the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and Hunan Provincial Department of Education, and meetings to discuss collaboration and partnership working with 12 of the region’s top universities.
During the visit Professor Mitchell signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hunan First Normal University. The two universities are now planning staff and student exchanges, joint academic programmes, collaborative research projects and cultural exchanges in teacher education.
Discussion is also ongoing with several more universities in Hunan about developing similar arrangements in other subject areas and priority sectors for the county.
“There are many similarities in the history, expertise and future goals of BGU and universities in Hunan,” said Professor Mitchell. “By working together to share experience, knowledge and resources we can further develop the education and skills of local people and help contribute to the economic prosperity of businesses right across the county.
“I would like to thank our hosts for their warm welcome and openness in seeking ways to work together. We have made many new friends and look forward to strengthening these relationships further by extending BGU’s partnership working with both Lincolnshire County Council and universities and businesses in China.”
Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted that Bishop Grosseteste University had a successful visit. This is not just an important step for the university, but it will also help further cement our friendship with the province.
“I’m confident that this growing relationship will bring opportunities for other businesses too, with agriculture, engineering, adult social care and culture already earmarked as areas for future collaboration. We have a lot in common and, working together, we can ensure greater prosperity for both regions.”