UCLan announces ground-breaking Chinese partnership

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has today announced exciting plans to create a ground-breaking partnership with Hebei University (HBU) in Baoding, China.

Hebei campusThe new partnership will create the Hebei/UCLan School of Media, Communication and Creative Industries, the first British partnership of this type in Hebei province.

The first cohort of students will enrol in September 2014 in a building specifically allocated for the new School on HBU’s new campus. Initially the School will have 800 students, recruiting 200 per year for the four year duration of the programmes. The intention is to grow to 1600 students and then to expand further by developing a broader curriculum with a focus on science-related subjects.

Initially the joint school will have non-independent status, meaning that although it will be a separate entity from HBU it will be wholly owned by it.

Academic programmes will initially be offered in conjunction with UCLan’s School of Art, Design and Performance and the School of Journalism and Media. Students enrolled can complete the full degree in China or split it between China and UCLan’s Preston Campus.

The partnership has been officially approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education and will build on UCLan’s already successful track record in China where the university has worked for over 20 years.

The Ministry of Education has been encouraging new forms of collaboration between British and Chinese Universities in recent years. This has included providing Chinese students with the option to complete their entire degree in-country, but also providing them with the opportunity to spend a period of time overseas, whilst remaining registered with the Chinese University. Post 2006, this is one of the first partnerships in Hebei province to be approved by the Ministry of Education under the new arrangements, gaining ‘non-independent statuses.

Once the programmes are running at full capacity, UCLan will be one of the largest providers of British higher education in China and only the eighth in the UK to gain non-independent status.

Graham Baldwin, UCLan's vice president, said: “This is the most significant development for UCLan in China for over a decade and we are privileged to be one of the first UK universities to gain approval for a project of this nature under China’s new Ministry of Education policies.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Hebei University who are the leading university in the province and have a fantastic track record of academic excellence of their own. It has taken less than 24 months from UCLan’s first visit to HBU to gaining official approval for the HBU/UCLan School – an astonishing achievement based largely on the concerted efforts of both institutions’ staff to build this relationship.

“This new international partnership model builds on our existing international programme which has seen the launch of our award-winning campus in Cyprus alongside plans to develop new markets in Mauritius. The increasing internationalisation of higher education will bring wonderful opportunities for UK students and international students alike and we are delighted to be playing our part in its continued growth.” Hebei University is located close in Baoding, approximately 36 minutes by the new fast train, from Beijing. The city is in a Province with a total population of over 77 million people.