Over 700 students graduated from Queen Mary’s joint programmes at Nanchang University (NCU) and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) on 26 and 28 June.
2 July 2018
The students, who were taught entirely in English, graduated with a degree from each of the two universities.
At NCU, the first cohort of students graduated from the Joint Programme in Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Biomedicine, which was established in 2013. Of the 90 students who graduated, more than 50 per cent are progressing to study postgraduate degrees.
The Joint Programme is the only programme of its kind in China to offer both a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and degree in Clinical Medicine upon graduation. Teaching is evenly split between NCU and Queen Mary academics, who travel from Queen Mary’s Schools of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Medicine and Dentistry to deliver classes.
The graduation ceremony was hosted by the Programme Director, Professor Zhijun Luo, and Co-Director, Professor Peter Heathcote. In his graduation speech, Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal of Queen Mary, said: “Our Joint Programme with Nanchang University has enabled us to develop our model of collaboration and apply it to medical education and health more widely.
“Together, we are pioneers in the area of joint medical education in China, and as graduates of the Joint Programme, you now have an unusual and powerful combination of skills to offer your country and the world.”
At BUPT, one of China’s top telecommunications-specialist universities, over 600 students graduated from one of three joint BSc programmes. 22 per cent received a First Class Honours degree and 33 per cent a 2:1 degree.
When launched in 2004, the joint programmes were the first of their kind between a top Chinese and top British university. They were also the first of their nature to be approved by the Ministry of Education in China, which has since identified the programme as one of the best examples of such a joint venture.
The programme offers a growing provision of joint programmes in telecommunications, systems and networks, which includes a BSc Internet of Things. This year, the two universities have established a Joint Research Lab on Smart Communications, focusing on 5G and Artificial Intelligence.
In his graduation speech, Professor Bailey said: “By combining the best of both Chinese and British higher education, we provide an educational experience of unique global quality. As graduates of the Joint Programme, you are equipped with excellent scientific and technological knowledge. You also possess a greater international understanding and an appreciation of the application of technology in global industry and business.”
A number of students from NCU and BUPT will continue their postgraduate studies at Queen Mary, with some likely to progress to PhD at a later date with prestigious China Scholarship Council funding.
As part of the visit to China, the Queen Mary delegation launched an International Centre for Teaching and Learning with Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU). The partnership with NPU, which was established in 2016, provides transnational university education in Engineering Materials through a Joint Educational Institute.
The delegation also held an alumni reception in Beijing, which was hosted by Professor Bailey and Professor Colin Grant, Vice-Principal (International). The event was attended by 70 alumni, who graduated over the past 15 years. Queen Mary currently has over 7,000 alumni in China, making it the university’s third largest alumni population.
Professor Bailey said: “Queen Mary is incredibly proud of these partnerships in China, which combine Chinese and British expertise across the fields of medicine, science and technology. The unique blend of skills that our graduates acquire is highly valued internationally; by undertaking a joint degree programme that is taught and assessed entirely in English, our graduates will be prized employees in their respective industries.”
Professor Grant added: “Bilingualism is increasingly the norm. If, on entering the world of work, our graduates can speak a partner’s language, it will accelerate the trust-building process. Queen Mary has a deep understanding for cultural literacy – it enables our students and graduates to develop an openness to other cultures and experiences.”
Queen Mary has almost 4,000 students on its programmes in China and 1,479 Chinese students outside of these programmes. The university is home to students from 162 nationalities, and its Chinese students make up almost 7 per cent of the student body.
Queen Mary launched its Confucius Institute, a collaboration with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), in October 2015. Staff and students have the opportunity to study Mandarin, visit China on subsidised two-week summer camps, and take part in the wide range of cultural events available throughout the year.
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