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Expanding academic partnerships in China and Hong Kong

Partnerships with three Chinese universities will expand opportunities for international study across Birkbeck.

Birkbeck’s International Office and senior academics from three of the College's Schools recently visited China and Hong Kong. They were there to celebrate the College’s successful partnerships with Beijing Institute of Technology and Beijing Forestry University and to develop a new undergraduate exchange programme with the China Foreign Affairs University - a government-established institution for aspiring Chinese diplomats.

To date, only students and staff from the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication have participated in partnerships with these institutes, but these opportunities will soon be expanded to students from across the Schools of Business, Economics and Informatics, Arts and Social Sciences, History and Philosophy following productive meetings on the visit. This will give undergraduate, postgraduate and research students the opportunity to study at all three Chinese institutes, as well as offering international mobility for staff.

Queena, a student from Beijing Forestry University who joined Birkbeck for one year to study Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions, said: “I came to Birkbeck because of the cooperative programmes with my university. We only study in the evening so during the daytime I go to the Birkbeck library or to the British Museum, Chinatown, or other places nearby.

“During class, we work together on presentations, which are very good opportunities to develop our communication skills, our research skills, and also our collaborative skills. My classmates are amazing because unlike other traditional universities, many of my classmates have jobs during the daytime or have been in a career before. They always bring a lot of ideas related to their work experience, which has inspired me a lot and broadened my horizon.

“Birkbeck is a university that is very concerned about the students - their lives, their studies, their well-being - and they provide many opportunities for us. I think Birkbeck is a very good choice if you want to spend your second year in England, and London is a very international and intercultural city.”

On the trip, Professor Klaus Nielsen represented the School of Business, Economics, and Informatics, while Professor Alex Colas represented the School of Social Sciences, History, and Philosophy, and Dr Simone Wesner represented the School of Arts. Lauren Prone, Head of International Marketing, and Recruitment and Mark Johnson, International Marketing Officer for East Asia, represented the International Office.

A series of academic lectures were held at the British Council offices in Beijing and Hong Kong for students holding offers to study at Birkbeck this coming academic year, alumni, and prospective students looking to get more information about Birkbeck. Matthew Dean and Peter McLaughlin from Cambridge Education Group’s foundation providers OnCampus also joined the lectures, along with professors of the Chinese partner institutions and Birkbeck.

The academic staff each gave a sample of their research and offered a taster of the Birkbeck student experience. Lauren Prone said: “We were delighted to be able to build on links with former and future students while strengthening and expanding our academic partnerships across the world, which are invaluable for staff and students.” 

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