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First delegation of Russell Group leaders to China to explore future collaboration and innovation

Russell Group and C9 delegates in Shanghai

Press release issued: 31 October 2016

Strengthened relationships and shared approaches to global challenges between UK and China’s leading universities are the focus of a Russell Group delegation to Shanghai today [October 31].

In the first delegation of its kind, representatives from the Russell Group - the UK's 24 leading research-intensive universities - will travel to China for a dialogue with leaders from the China 9 (C9), an alliance of nine elite universities in mainland China.  Professor Tim Gallagher, Dean of the Faculty of Science, will represent the University of Bristol.

The Russell Group – China 9 Dialogue, will be co-chaired by President Jie Zhang of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Professor Sir David Greenaway, Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham.

The university leaders will discuss how best to foster excellence in research, innovation and higher education and consider the benefits of, and opportunities for, collaboration between the Russell Group and Chinese universities.

Professor Gallagher said: "A key goal of the meeting between the Russell Group and China's C9 universities is to clearly articulate and discuss the emerging higher education priorities for both China and the UK, and to explore how we can collaborate to tackle shared challenges and seize shared opportunities.

"It is clear that there is much to be gained by the Russell Group engaging collaboratively as a group in China, as it provides us with the critical mass and clarity of message which is essential to articulating the quality of the UK system."

Following formal discussions, President Zhang and Professor Greenaway will sign a Joint Russell Group – China 9 Statement on:

  • Exploring ways to deepen engagement and strengthen existing relationships
  • Sharing information and approaches to addressing complex global challenges
  • Considering opportunities to further facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge

Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor Sir David Greenaway said: "Our universities are international institutions that thrive on their academic links around the world. They recognise that big scientific, economic and social challenges will only be solved when the best minds work together through global research collaboration.

"I am delighted we are signing this joint statement with our colleagues from the C9. There are huge mutual benefits for Russell Group universities and China's leading universities to work together.

"By deepening our engagement and sharing our approaches to complex global challenges our universities can continue to lead the world in producing excellent research. An agreement like this, with the C9, represents an exciting opportunity to further the exchange of ideas and knowledge."

Further information

More information is available on the Russell Group website.

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