Premier pays surprise visit

May 6th, 2011

China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has paid a surprise visit to The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC).

Premier Wen was welcomed by the University’s Provost and Chief Executive Officer, Professor Nick Miles. He spent two hours at the University, shaking hands with the crowds that greeted him, and then chatting with students about their research projects.

UNNC is a unique international university in China. It was the first Sino-foreign university to open in China in 2004, with the Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor Yang Fujia, as its founding President. Professor Yang, the first Chinese academic elected to such a role in a British university, originally hails from Ningbo.

The University has just under 5,000 students, recruited from China’s first division – the tier of students with the highest grades – and other countries. All degree programmes are taught in English and students receive a UK-style education and UK degrees from The University of Nottingham.

China’s Premier told the students: “I am very happy to be here to see international students and Chinese students learning together and developing together. This is like an international family. The location is here, but the University has a world view, so students also have a global perspective. To international students, I would ask you to regard this as your home.”

Professor Miles said: “We are hugely honoured and very proud that Premier Wen decided to take some time out of his busy schedule to come and see us. This is important acknowledgement for us that we are contributing to educational change in China in a positive way. We are still a young University here in China and our graduates are already making an impact in the business world, science and research and their communities.”

“Our 100% employment rate among our graduates is testimony to the high calibre of students we attract here and also highlights that the education they receive here equips them to thrive in a challenging, globalised work environment,” said Professor Miles.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway said: “We are delighted and honoured by the visit of Premier Wen, which is a testament to the huge achievements of UNNC and reflects the support we have had in China over a long period.

“The University offers a distinctive education, which is valued by students and employers alike. It also plays a leading research role in China, particularly in globalisation, business and the development of low-carbon technologies. We’re very pleased that Premier Wen had the opportunity to meet some of our students and see these achievements at first hand.”

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