April 23, 2014, by Lindsay Brooke

A year of celebrations to mark 10 years in China

The next 12 months will see a series of events in China and the UK to “celebrate the past, showcase the present and imagine the future”, as The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC) marks its tenth anniversary.

The celebrations began on Sunday 13 April with a show-stopping opening ceremony featuring a wide variety of student performances – from street dance and orchestral music, to a choreographed routine with Rubik cubes – and a video of UNNC alumni from around the world sharing memories of their time at the University.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham and Professor Nick Miles, Provost and CEO of UNNC, welcomed the founding leaders of UNNC to the ceremony.

Developing Ningbo’s port

In the same week, UNNC reinforced its research and technology-transfer role in the development of Ningbo’s port, as it launched the Ningbo Nottingham International Academy for Marine Economy and Technology (IAMET). The Academy will provide ground-breaking applied research and work with local, national and international companies to train talent, exchange knowledge and commercialise research.

Marine economy is a major priority for the Chinese government and this initiative will leverage The University of Nottingham’s global experience in various areas of research including port services and logistics, marine advanced materials, biological products and environmental management.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing later in the week, Professor Greenaway told journalists: “However globalised this world becomes, we can’t forget the community in which we’re embedded. We need to continue to build a strong sense of social responsibility and address the needs of Ningbo economy. We recently launched our International Academy for Marine Economy Technology [IAMET] to help Ningbo to leverage the asset it has in its port.”

Training Guangzhou’s finance professionals

The week also saw the launch of the Guangdong-Nottingham Advanced Finance Institute (GNAFI), which will train 2,000 Chinese senior managers from industry, commerce, financial institutes and government organisations per year, in Guangzhou, southern China.

It will combine teaching and research expertise from The University of Nottingham with the Guangdong University of Finance, and address a growing need to train Guangzhou’s finance professionals, developing multi-level talent for China, especially for South China’s financial services sector.

British and Chinese government support

The week culminated in a reception to mark the tenth anniversary of UNNC at the British Embassy in Beijing, hosted by His Excellency Mr Sebastian Wood CMG, British Ambassador to China, who congratulated The University of Nottingham on its vision to set up a China campus and its success over the last decade.

The reception was attended by alumni from UNNC and The University of Nottingham in the UK, representatives from government and business and staff from the University’s campuses.

Gifts of traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting, produced by UNNC students and featuring meaningful messages written in Chinese, were given to those attending the event.

The event will be mirrored by a similar reception at the Chinese Embassy in London in June.

Vision and courage

Reflecting on establishing UNNC at the press conference prior to the reception, Professor Greenaway said: “It took a lot of vision and it took a lot of courage. Everyone involved in setting up UNNC was taking a risk.

“This was a new model and we were staking our reputation; parents were taking a risk. It has all been down to a lot of hard work from the students, staff and those who have supported us.”

As for the next 10 years, Professor Greenaway said that the future is unpredictable.

“The world will become more globalised, technology will be more important and the economic centre of gravity will continue to shift towards the east. We don’t know how technology will shape our world.

“This means three things for UNNC. We have to produce high quality graduates, who can confront change, manage change and lead change. We need to shape the research agenda to reflect the world around us, to address global challenges by building capacity that helps us develop solutions – research with impact – that will manage these global challenges.”

Acknowledging the presence of alumni and parents who also attended the press conference and spoke fondly of their experiences, Professor Greenaway thanked them for the confidence they have shown in UNNC, before announcing that “UNNC is here for a lifetime.”

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