New partnership announced with East China Normal University

June 18th, 2024

The university is pleased to announce a new partnership between East China Normal University (ECNU) and The University of Nottingham, driven by the School of Education.

Following a visit by Head of School of Education at UoN Professor Volker Wedekind, Director of Global Engagement in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Lucy Cooker and Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education, Dr Yuwei Xu to ECNU’s Faulty of Education last June – funded by the university’s International Research Collaboration Fund – the two universities have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2024, which records plans to collaborate in staff/student mobility and research activities.

The first activity following the MoU was an academic exchange week in May 2024, with an ECNU delegation of 19 staff and students visiting the School of Education and participating in a week-long academic programme.

The delegation was led by Professor Yaozong Hu, Head of Department of Educational Management at ECNU’s Faculty of Education; accompanied by four faculty members and fourteen undergraduate, master’s, and PhD students from Departments of Educational Management and Early Childhood Education.

Professor Howard Stevenson (Deputy Head of School of Education), Professor Lucy Cooker (Director of Global Engagement, Faculty of Social Sciences), Professor Kay Fuller (Convenor, Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Management), and Drs Kerryn Dixon and Yuwei Xu (Co-Convenors, Global Childhoods Research Group) welcomed the delegates on day one.

Colleagues from The Observatory for Mathematics Education, The Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Management, Global Childhoods Research Group, and Higher Education Futures Research Group contributed to the week via formal and informal talks and communications.

The academic exchange week was also supported by other parts of the university, including Professor Paul Grainge (Academic Director, City as Lab, below) who introduced to the delegates UoN’s City as Lab and Castle Meadows Campus; Dr Ruby Chau (Associate Professor, School of Sociology and Social Policy) who presented her research on childcare gap; Chang Le (Strategic International Research Development Manager) who presented an overview of possible international research grants; and Begum Karacaoglu (Global Engagement Officer) who showed the delegates around University Park campus.

In addition, four local schools in Nottingham hosted visits from the delegates and exchanged knowledge on the two countries’ education systems, especially on mathematics education. They are: Victoria Primary School, Larkfields Junior School, George Spencer Academy, and Chetwynd Primary Academy.

Feedback from the event was highly positive, both on the week and on the wider UoN community.

ECNU delegates really appreciated the atmosphere they felt while at UoN and the School of Education –  friendly, supportive, collegial, and engaging; which we have been working hard on as a school/university and it’s been seen as obvious by visitors.

The delegates were also impressed by the research culture demonstrated, which they described as “strong, international, and nurturing”.

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