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University of Reading engaging with


Editorial credits Thank you to all our staff, students and alumni who have contributed to this publication Editorial team: Professor Steve Mithen, Kirsti Wilson, Anna Colquhoun-Alberts and Rebecca Zhi Herbert . Photography: DIEM photography, CSSA, Shi Xinyun Design: Ashley Smith, Design & Print Studio, University of Reading

‘As Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, I am proud that we are a University of choice for so many Chinese students who are seeking a world class education. I am equally proud that the most prestigious Chinese universities select Reading as a partner for developing teaching and research collaborations. My commitment is to ensure that Reading continues to be a university in which outstanding teaching takes place and where globally significant research is conducted. In doing so, we will meet the highest expectations of not only our Chinese students but those from the UK and throughout the world. Through our work, those who need to know about and, ideally, experience China as an integral part of their education will be able to do so. This publication provides a snapshot of Reading’s engagement with China as of Autumn 2012. I hope you enjoy learning more about our China-related teaching and research activities. You will learn about the outstanding facilities and degree courses we provide for Chinese students and the opportunities we provide for our UK students to learn about and ideally experience China. Overall, I hope that you will appreciate the University of Reading’s commitment to working in an ever closer partnership with our Chinese colleagues, enriching ourselves and the lives of many others as we do so.’ Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor


Contents In focus

Partnerships in China

Our students and alumni

6 Welcome 8 The University of Reading 10 In conversation with Mr Shen 14 Meet the regional team for China 16 Understanding global climate and weather 17 Food Biosciences 18 Partners in law 20 Training courses for Chinese academics at the ISLC 21 Chemistry partnerships with NUIST 22 The Ameson Chinese Elite Programme 23 Professional development for Chinese teachers and administrators at the National Centre for Language and Literacy (NCLL) 24 Working together to deliver world-class green buildings and eco-cities 26 The School of Systems Engineering in China 27 The Informatics Research Centre and Beijing Institute of Technology 28 ICMA Centre 30 Crop research in China 31 Staff profile: Dr Ashley Thorpe 32 Partnership with the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission 35 Reading’s MA in English Language Education at Guangdong 36 Mandarin within the Institution Wide Language Programme 38 Digging China: Reading archaeologists go East 40 Educational programmes at Reading 42 Student profile: Weishun Jiang 44 The Annual Fund changing students’ lives 46 Our Chinese alumni 48 Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) 49 An award winning recent alumnus writes 51 Employability 52 Our partners in China

The University of Reading has a long history of engagement with China. Our first Chinese student arrived in 1924 from Shantung, when the total student number on campus was a mere 1,560. Today we have almost 18,000 students of which 592 are from China. Almost 2,000 Chinese students have graduated from our degree courses and now work within business, government and academia, often in the most senior positions. We have developed many research and teaching collaborations with Chinese universities. As these continue to flourish, we are seeking to further extend our engagement with China as part of our expansion as a global university.


The University of Reading in China Co-operation not competition between east and west The remarkable achievements of Chinese Science and Civilisation were first made accessible to the West via the publications of Joseph Needham (1990–1995). His Science and Civilisation in China has now amounted to 27 books within seven volumes and is itself an astonishing academic achievement. It was from those volumes that many learned about not only the ‘four great’ inventions of China – the compass, gunpowder, paper making and printing – but also China’s immense achievements in all areas of science and technology, especially between the seventh and 17th centuries AD, China’s so-called ‘Golden Age’. This led to the famous Needham question: why, despite its great successes, was China overtaken by the West? As we now observe China’s unrelenting economic growth, the expansion of its education system and its development of world class universities, the Needham question looks redundant. An alternative appears more pertinent: when will China overtake the West?

Such language of competition between East and West should itself be redundant. We are members of an interconnected world and participate in an integrated global economy. While we may work within different political systems, we are dependent upon each other for securing economic growth and the well-being of our populations. And nowhere are the values of cooperation and collaboration more keenly required than in Higher Education. With regard to research, the global challenges we face have no respect for the East and West, let alone national boundaries. How do we ensure food security in a world of seven billion people, 20% of whom are in China? How can we secure both economic growth and environmental sustainability? How do we manage the health and social needs of an ageing population? Neither do these questions have any respect for the traditional ways in which universities are organised into faculties and departments – the global challenges cut across those boundaries requiring scientists and social scientists from many disciplines to work together, fully

engaged with those from the humanities. To address the global challenges we need to put the best minds and the best universities together from wherever they come from in the world. Chinese and UK universities share aspirations about delivering excellent teaching and preparing students to live and work in a globalised world. This is what both governments require to keep their countries globally competitive. Employers – wherever they are based – need graduates with abilities to work in real and virtual multi-cultural settings. They need graduates who have engaged with business and industry as an integral part of their studies and can bring both technical skills and critical thinking to the workplace. Here too, therefore, collaboration between UK and Chinese universities is essential with regard to the provision of summer schools, student exchanges and teaching partnerships. We have much to learn from each other and can deliver more by working together than we can apart. Professor Steve Mithen Pro-Vice-Chancellor, International and External Engagement


In focus

The University of Reading A world‑class university

Satisfied students

Linked in: work and study

The University of Reading has recently been placed in the top 200 of the world’s 9,000 universities, a reflection of our continued commitment to producing world-class research and a true global student experience.

University of Reading students reported very high levels of satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (2011), placing us in the top 20 UK universities. We are also highly recommended by our international students who placed us in the top 20 of UK institutions for students’ satisfaction with their learning experience (as assessed by the International Student Barometer survey), and received a 90% satisfaction rate for assessment and marking criteria.

Reading is at the heart of the south east economy, one of the most dynamic in the UK. It has been named one of the five most recession-resilient ‘cities’ in the UK* and is home to 13 of the world’s top 30 global brands, including Vodafone and Microsoft.

A popular, cosmopolitan institution Reading is a very popular university choice and currently attracts over six applications per place. We have almost 18,000 students in total. This may sound a large number, but we are a medium-sized UK university, big enough to offer a lively atmosphere but small enough for our students and staff to feel part of a close community. 3,000 of our students are international, from 125 different countries across the world.

World‑leading research Nearly 90% of Reading’s research was rated world-class in the latest national Research Assessment Exercise – the survey of research quality in UK universities. This is a reflection of our outstanding, vibrant and supportive research environment which helps us to attract staff and research students of the highest calibre and ensures that our teaching is research-informed and meets the needs of society.


* Centre for Cities

A stunningly beautiful learning environment At Reading, we are understandably proud of our campus which is one of the most beautiful in the UK. Giving a relaxed feel to the University, our 320 acres of green parkland surround a central hub of buildings which form the heart of the University. All development is managed in a green and sustainable way to ensure that our beautiful environment is preserved for everyone to enjoy.


University of Reading

In focus

Accommodation at Reading At Reading, we pride ourselves on being a residential university offering a wide range of accommodation to suit all requirements and budgets. The majority of undergraduates as well as many postgraduates live in Halls of Residence, which provide a home away from home where you will find yourself part of a supportive community. We have 4,000 rooms available and each Hall has its own distinctive feel. All Hall accommodation is either on Campus or within easy walking distance of campus, local shops, banks and social facilities. All Halls are located on bus routes from the town centre. There is a wide range of accommodation available for you to choose from and all rents include: • Utility bills (gas, electricity and water) • Contents insurance • Full internet access. Welfare and pastoral support for students is provided by dedicated and experienced team of wardens. For more information about our halls and the range of accommodation available, visit:

established | transformational | global9

In focus

Making a difference: Professor Steve Mithen in conversation with Shen Yang, Minister Counsellor for Education at the Chinese Embassy Shen Yang was appointed Minister Counsellor for Education at the Chinese Embassy in London in 2012. He was recruited by the Ministry of Education in 1983 and has worked in the area of international cooperation and exchanges in education for 25 years. He served as Deputy Director of the European Division of Department of Overseas Studies of State Education Commitment (1992–93), and was appointed in 1997 Director of European Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. In 2000, he was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the China Scholarship Council. He was Second Secretary and then First Secretary in the Education Office of the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC (1993–97); and he served as Chief Education Consul (Education Counsellor) in the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco (2003–08). Mr Shen holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration and Management from the University of Manchester.

SM: Please start by telling us what your role involves. What does the Minister Counsellor for Education actually do at the Embassy? SY: The Minister Counsellor for Education is the head of education in the embassy. My primary responsibility is the promotion of students’ mobility. We have a large number of Chinese students studying in the UK, around 120,000, and must look after their well being as far as we can. Secondly, we are also here to promote study in China. We welcome, very much welcome, British students going to study in China. At present we


have over 3,000 of them going every year, but want to see many, many more from the UK. We are delighted that Reading has indicated an interest in sending more British students to China. Thirdly, we are here also to promote Chinese language teaching, in a similar manner to how the British Council in China promotes English language teaching. We are delighted to see many British schools and universities teaching Mandarin. At the moment we have 20 Confucius Institutes jointly established by UK host universities, education establishments and Chinese partners, and there are also 64 Confucius classrooms all over the UK.

The UK is leading in Europe in this regard, and one part of my job is to continue this development and the promotion of Chinese language studies. SM: What about building academic links between UK and Chinese universities? SY: Yes, of course. We are also here to promote or facilitate academic links between the higher education institutions. Reading has a wonderful track record of working with its Chinese partners, your visits to China have been very fruitful and I certainly hope that you will be able to visit more of our universities on future trips. In April this

In focus

year, our two governments officially launched a new high level People to People dialogue. This is a new platform intended to boost collaborations in education, science and technology, culture, sports, media and youth affairs. With this umbrella platform for the UK, we hope to raise the profile of existing collaborations. So we think it’s a wonderful opportunity for both countries’ academic institutions to grasp. SM: Universities will certainly benefit from governments’ support in developing teaching partnerships and research collaborations because these are demanding to develop and highlevel guidance is always appreciated. But let me ask you about developments in higher education in China. I know there has been both medium and long term reform of its education system. What do you think are the main challenges that China is facing and what are its biggest opportunities? SY: Well, the challenges are many. The National Outline was released in 2010 in July after serious engagement with the public, involving solicitation of opinions and online consultations. It is a comprehensive blueprint or roadmap of education reform and development for the 10 year period between 2010 and 2020. It covers all sectors of education.

SM: All the way from primary? SY: Not only primary, we are talking about all the way from kindergarten to postgraduate education and even further. Three strategic objectives have been identified. One is to basically modernise China’s education. Second is to form a lifelong learning society in China. Third, the intention is to build China into a nation strong in human resources, talents and so on. There are a number of core missions being identified, two of the key objectives are to achieve quality and equity. SM: What do you mean by ‘modernising’ education in China? How does the Chinese higher education system need to develop to become modern? SY: A further opening up is important. In fact, the National Outline devoted a full chapter to describing a further opening up of China’s education, internationalisation if you like. In my view, this means a further integration into the international community. We have been learning from overseas countries for over 30 years now and are still doing so. We consider ourselves huge beneficiaries from the process of reform and development and modernisation. SM: I think we can all see ourselves as beneficiaries of each other. When I go to China I find the ambition of Chinese universities inspirational. There is an

immense eagerness for growth – I think we in the UK have got a lot to learn from the Chinese universities SY: Well thank you. I do hope that the Chinese universities have something to contribute as well as drawing on the international community. We have a fairly large number of Chinese students, studying in the UK. That is a great benefit to them, but we hope that they also contribute to the development of Britain.

‘I think now the UK and China have established this kind of platform, we should make the full use of it for the benefit of both countries.’


In focus

‘Reading has a wonderful track record of working with its Chinese partners, your visits to China have been very fruitful and I certainly hope that you will be able to visit more of our universities on future trips.’

In fact when we were making the effort to universalise our nine year compulsory education the greatest challenge was to achieve this in the western part of China - in the rural regions, in the desert and mountainous regions and in the ethnic minority areas. We have many policies to develop the west including transfer payments, popularising the nine year compulsory education and to eliminate adult illiteracy, which we effectively achieved in 2010. SM: Well, Reading has had the pleasure of receiving groups of school teachers from Western China for many years, who come to enhance their English language. And that’s clearly an example of the positive affirmative action that has been taken to develop the English Language teaching in the west. This has been a great privilege for Reading. The teachers have come from many different minorities so it has been a very interesting experience for us to meet them and learn about their backgrounds. Let me ask you about collaborations between Chinese and British universities. These can take various forms, including teaching partnerships, joint campuses and research projects. Do you have any views as to what are the most promising for future collaborations, where do you see the most important developments might be?

SM: Oh, they certainly do so. At Reading we think it is absolutely essential that our students are part of a cosmopolitan community, rubbing shoulders, ideas and experience with students from all over the world. I want all of our students to learn about China and part of that must come from getting to know Chinese students. That is also why I want to ensure many more of our Reading students can go and study in China. Let me now ask you about Eastern and Western China. I understand most of the economic growth and most of the enhancements of higher education has been in the east of China. Is there


similar commitment to developing the west, in areas such as Chongqing and Chengdu? SY: Oh yes. The economic and social development of the country is vastly uneven at present. There is a huge concentration of effort to boost educational development in the west. We think it is important to close the gap for disparity, otherwise we will have the eastern coastal region being well developed and the vast western region being neglected. That is certainly not the government policy, so we’re making efforts in this territory. It has already been going on for decades.

SY: The China/UK education collaboration can be traced back decades. It is well developed, very mature, and ranges from the central governments in both countries to higher education and schools. So it covers a full spectrum for the education sector. As far as university collaborations are concerned, we started from the exchange of faculty members which then led to joint research activities and exchange of students. Now we have joint campuses. With regard to future opportunities, I think first of all we must ensure a further consolidation of the existing relations between our academic institutions. I wish to encourage further enhancement of inter-university links because these can lead to all forms of exchange activities and collaborations. I would especially like to see the further establishment of joint research facilities

In focus

to deepen our existing joint research activities. We certainly want to encourage more academic institutions to explore the kind of arrangement that we see in the joint Tsinghua University, Cambridge University and MIT Low Carbon Studies, Technology Study Centre. SM: Yes, it’s not so much a partnership between two institutions but building academic networks that can draw on expertise from throughout the world. Are there particular topics in research that you think are especially important for China to develop in collaboration with the west? What are the hot topics for research in China at the moment? SY: I think the hot topics are universal including climate change, energy and food security. We have interests in all forms of research activities, and not only in science and technology. The social sciences are very important for China because we want countries to learn from and study each other in depth rather than in a superficial way. SM: That is very encouraging to hear because some people have the misapprehension that collaboration is only about developing new technology, and for immediate economic growth, as opposed to also learning about each other’s cultures and languages which has got to be the foundations for longterm collaboration and understanding. SY: I think that it is important that nations have better understanding of each other and have better appreciation of each other’s special way of living or culture. That’s really why we have established the high level People to People dialogue. We consider that although it also embraces science and technology it’s much broader than that. And I think now the UK and China have established this kind of platform, we should make the full use

of it for the benefit of both countries. SM: One of the challenges I have is persuading more of our Reading students to go and spend time in China. Some of them are keen to go, some of them can’t go because there’s funding issues, and some of them appear uninterested. What message do you think I should give them to persuade them that this would be good for their long term career, employment, education? What should I be telling them? SY: I was very encouraged to learn that the CBI publishes an index every year that indicates employers are especially interested in graduates with foreign language skills. I have noticed that the wish for graduates with some knowledge of Chinese has been rising very fast. I think it is important that UK universities build in to their degrees a certain requirement of acquiring a foreign language or a component of studying abroad. I certainly want to welcome more Reading students to come to China. The Chinese government has been encouraging our academic institutions to make further efforts to facilitate international students’ presence in China. We want them to introduce more relevant courses about modern China, about the study of China as a whole. And of course we want more of our university teachers to be able to conduct courses in English, while of course we welcome the international students in China to continue to learn some Chinese as well. SM: I think that is important because if there are courses taught in English it will help boost the confidence of students to go to China. But I think it is also absolutely critical that if they do go there is a requirement for them to learn some Chinese. Our Mandarin language

courses at Reading are rapidly growing in popularity – that must bode well for the future of student travel to China. SY: But I think that arrangements between universities also need to be made because there are many challenges to overcome. Asking Reading students to spend a full year in China is very demanding for them. Providing an arrangement for one semester visits or even for a shorter period of study would be encouraging to the students in my view. And of course there will be questions about available scholarships. SM: Finally, I understand that you are returning to London having once been here as a student. SY: I’m newly based in London, but I was once a student in the UK. I spent a total of three years on two occasions as a student. Starting well over 30 years ago, I was at the Polytechnic of Central London, now the University of Westminster, and then I spent a year in Durham. The second time I was here was the end of the 1980s. I spent a year in Manchester doing my Masters degree. But I have been away for more than ten years while I have been based in North America. SM: Well, I am delighted you have now returned to London, especially in such an exciting year with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. I do hope that we can enjoy a visit from you to the University of Reading in the near future. SY: Thank you, I very much look forward to that. I am sure that the excellent working relationship between the Chinese Embassy and the University of Reading that developed under my predecessor will continue.

‘We have a fairly large number of Chinese students, studying in the UK. That is a great benefit to them, but we hope that they also contribute to the development of Britain.’


In focus

Meet the regional team for China Anna Colquhoun Alberts, Regional Manager for East Asia Rebecca Zhi Herbert, Regional Officer for East Asia We joined University of Reading’s International Office in 2011 as part of the Regional Team for East Asia. We have both previously worked in China and love all things Chinese! We greatly enjoy advising Chinese students with their study plans and providing all sorts of practical support for those coming to Reading. We play a key role in the development of teaching partnerships with Chinese universities, contributing towards Reading internationalisation agenda. Our academics are often leaders in their fields and have a great deal to offer Chinese Universities, not only their own expertise, but also the courses they devise and teach. All of our partnerships are designed to be mutually beneficial, supporting the modernisation of Chinese universities and providing new opportunities for our own staff and students. We are fortunate to receive tremendous support from external organisations, including the British

Council in China, the Chinese Embassy and the China Scholarship Council. It is fantastic to work for a University that is so highly regarded in China. We support all of the new Chinese students who come to Reading. Our Chinese community is active, friendly and welcoming, while we can provide everything any student needs to know about accommodation, money-matters, visas, travel, sports clubs and so forth. We continue supporting our students

after they graduate and become our alumni – once part of Reading always part of Reading! We love working for the University of Reading. Our jobs are demanding because the university has an ambitious internationalisation agenda, and so we are also being asked to undertake additional visits to China, find new opportunities for Reading students and new partner universities. It is hard work but great fun! If you would like to learn more about the University of Reading, whether as a place to study or to develop an academic partnership, please contact: International Office University of Reading Blandford Lodge Whiteknights Reading, RG6 6AB United Kingdom +44 118 378 6899


We are a global University, delivering our courses not only at our UK campus but at an ever-increasing number of localities around the world including our Henley Business School Campus in South Africa and our partner universities in China. Our campus in Malaysia will open in 2015 to provide degrees in subjects including Business, Law, Construction and Pharmacy, further extending our global reach to provide outstanding 21st century higher education throughout the world. Professor Tony Downes Deputy Vice-Chancellor


Partnerships in China

Understanding global climate and weather Reading’s Department of Meteorology and its Chinese Partners Reading’s Department of Meteorology is internationally renowned for its excellent teaching and research in atmospheric, oceanic and climate science, providing a thriving community of over 200 research scientists. Its range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in meteorology is unique for the UK while its pioneering research on the fundamental dynamics and physics of weather and climate has gained recognition throughout the world. The Department tackles some of the most critical environmental issues facing society today, aiming to understand and improve predictions of climate change, hazardous weather and air pollution – issues of enormous concern for China. By definition this research requires a global perspective and collaboration with meteorologists throughout the world. One of Reading’s key international partnerships currently undergoing development is with Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NUIST). This is one of the leading institutions in China for climate-related research and teaching, encompassing a centre of the World Meteorological Organisation. One of the collaborative research projects being developed concerns the East Asia


Summer Monsoon in which the computer modelling expertise at Reading will combine with the local knowledge of the monsoon at NUIST to enhance our ability at predicting this event. A teaching partnership is also being developed, involving a 3+1 programme whereby NUIST meteorology students attend their final year at Reading, leading to a joint award, and a 3+1+1 link, leading from the undergraduate award on to one of the Reading’s MSc programmes. Another key partnership is being developed with the College of Atmospheric Sciences of Lanzhou University. Students from Lanzhou are planning to take taught modules at Reading as part of a Study Abroad Scheme, as the first step on developing another 3+1 teaching partnership. Reading’s Department of Meteorology has long been recognised as one of the leading centres in the world for studying climate and weather. Expanding its collaboration with Chinese scientists via these teaching and research partnerships will help maintain that status while also making a major contribution to tackling those key issues about climate change, hazardous weather and air pollution of considerable benefit to, among others, the Chinese.

Dr Buwen Dong Buwen Dong’s research is broadly in the area of understanding mechanisms of seasonal to decadal climate variability and anthropogenic (human made) climate change. Most of his recent work is investigating past events (hindcasts) to identify model errors, and understand the nature and causes of observed changes in climate on decadal timescales. He has close collaborations with colleagues from China to study Asian monsoon variability and to understand the role of Atlantic influence. For more information, visit

Partnerships in China

Food Biosciences – sharing knowledge and students with Henan University of Technology Collaboration between the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Henan University of Technology (HAUT) has developed into a strong link since 2001. Dr Li Weili, then a post doctoral researcher in the School of Food Biosciences (currently Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University) approached the Head, Professor Dave Ledward, and suggested that the School should consider recruiting students from China, recognising the country was rapidly growing in economic terms, and a number of students were seeking opportunities to study abroad. Dr Li Weili’s background as a member of the academic staff of the Zhengzhou Institute of Technology in Henan province prior to starting her PhD in Reading encouraged her to propose a

link between Reading and the Institute. In 2002, a delegation from Zhengzhou visited Reading and after receiving formal permission from the Chinese government, recruitment of students to a newly formed International College commenced in Zhengzhou. The Institute in Zhengzhou merged with other local institutions to form the Henan University of Technology (HAUT), and the first formal agreement with HAUT was signed in April 2003. Professor Keshavan Niranjan visited Zhengzhou in 2004 with Dr Li Weili, and a fresh approach was taken to foster links with HAUT, which included the appointment of an International Student Tutor in the School of Food Biosciences (now Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences) at Reading to support international links in 2006.

Since 2005, a number of students from HAUT have transferred each year under a 2+2 agreement to spend 2 years in Reading, and register for BSc Food Science, BSc Biotechnology, and BSc Food Technology with Bioprocessing. Under another agreement (4 + 1) to spend a year in Reading, students register for MSc Food Science, MSc Food Technology – Quality Assurance and MSc Nutrition and Food Science. Between 2005 and 2011, 101 students entered BSc programmes and 21 students entered MSc programmes at Reading, an overwhelming majority (95%) graduating and moving on to do very well in their career. During their registration with University of Reading, some undergraduate students spend an additional year on an industrial placement, so that they can graduate with BSc degrees with Industrial Training. Some of the HAUT students have been able to take an industrial training placement, and the development of a partnership between University of Reading and Nestle in Shanghai has allowed students to take placements in that company in China, and 2 students are currently working under that arrangement. Other students take placements in the UK. Students graduating from the degree programmes normally progress to work in the food industry or to further study on MSc or PhD programmes. 5 Graduates are working with Nestle in Shanghai, 3 graduates have fully funded PhD studentships in Europe, two graduates have fully funded PhD studentships outside Europe in Canada and New Zealand, and several students are funding their own PhD studies. To find out more, visit

Student Shiyu Yin (a part 2 student) spent Christmas with a host family


Partnerships in China

Partners in law The University of Reading’s Law School has an ambitious internationalisation agenda to provide a global education for all of its students. A key element of that agenda is its new collaborations with major Universities in China including Tsinghua University Law School, Renmin University, Peking University Law School and China University of Political Science and Law. The University’s Law School is one of the best in the UK. It is ranked 7th in the UK for its research quality, and in the top 10 UK Law schools in a number of rankings. In the Financial Times Innovative Law Schools report (28th November 2011), the University of Reading’s Law School is the only UK university featuring in two articles: LLM courses 2011: Growth area and Law and business: A marriage of convenience Our commercial LLM programmes – LLM International Commercial Law, LLM International Corporate Finance and LLM International Financial Regulation - are an indication of our pragmatic and market oriented initiatives. These LLM programs are provided by the Law School in conjunction with the ICMA Centre of Henley Business School. Students take core and optional modules from both Schools, providing them with an invaluable opportunity to acquire a unique legal and financial perspective of commercial and corporate law issues. Collaboration on these programmes has constituted the basis of our partnerships as it is evident that commercial and corporate law issues are irrevocably linked to financial issues across the globe and not restricted to any particular jurisdiction. The commercial LLM programmes equip students with the knowledge, skills and practical tools needed to gain a thorough under-


standing of how the global economy and finance is regulated by law. We are the only Law School in the UK providing LLM programmes that are so intertwined with business, where students take core and optional modules from both schools and become accustomed to business thinking and mentality. We have been establishing different types of collaboration with our partners, the most important of which are: Postgraduate Collaboration: our partner university LLM, Juris Master, and PhD students spend one year at the home institution and one year at the University of Reading’s Law School to follow one of the Reading LLM programmes. At the end of the duration of the relevant degree in their home institution, students will be awarded degrees from both institutions. Joint Research Conferences: The Law School and our partners organise research conferences in China and the UK. With our partners, we identify possible topics that are relevant for China and UK/EU, and address the implications of these issues for the different legal regimes and jurisdictions. For more information about postgraduate programmes at the Law School: Centre for Commercial law and financial regulation:

Partnerships in China

Professor Wang (Peking University) and Professor Kokkoris (Reading) share a mutual interest in corporate finance law and competition law and are planning to run a conference on competition law, allowing for their faculties to identify shared research interests.


Partnerships in China

Training courses for Chinese academics at the International Study and Language Centre The International Language and Study Centre (ISLC) at the University of Reading creates and delivers professional development packages for academics from China. These courses are designed to enhance the ability to undertake teaching and research in an English language environment, as well as building subject area expertise. The programme also develops an understanding of the culture of higher education in the UK. Chinese academics from Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities have all benefitted from this programme.

The programme involves participation in modules in the lecturer’s subject area, including lectures, seminars and tutorials. There are opportunities for discussions with academic staff regarding course syllabi, delivery, and assessment. This close contact with staff at Reading provides opportunities to develop teaching and collaborative research initiatives.

Participants benefit from English language provision, to support and facilitate participation in the programme. Participants have the opportunity to improve a particular aspect of their English language delivery, such as academic writing and reading for research publication, giving lectures and making presentations.

Participants have access to a range of professional development workshops on various aspects of academic work provided by the University’s Centre for Staff Training and Development. They also become familiar with the University’s teaching and learning quality assurance processes and procedures, and review the development of higher education, research and teaching within the UK.

Regular tutorials with experienced English language tutors allow for individualised support and feedback on spoken and written work. Opportunities are also available for participants to lecture to a group of University of Reading students, using techniques and methodology discussed and observed during the course.

About the International Study and Language Centre The International Study and Language Centre (ISLC) at the University of Reading specialises in the provision of academic and language programmes designed both for international students and the wider University community. The programmes, courses and facilities available through the ISLC have a long established reputation for academic excellence and student support. The University’s ongoing investment in this sector acknowledges the ever-increasing importance of internationally-focused education, communication and understanding.

Chinese academics on a study visit to ISLC with course tutors Colin Campbell and Sebastian Watkins, November 2011


In line with the University’s international reputation for quality, the ISLC is fully staffed and managed by highly qualified and experienced University tutors and lecturers.

Partnerships in China

Chemistry partnerships with Nanjing University of Information, Science and Technology The Department of Chemistry’s partnership with NUIST was established through research links between Professor George Marston with Professor Yan Ma, and through Professor Laurence Harwood with Professor Mindong Chen. In 2009, a memorandum of understanding was signed between NUIST and the University of Reading which led to the creation of a teaching partnership with Chemistry, where graduates from NUIST enrol in Reading on the MSc in Chemical Research. After the successful establishment of this programme, NUIST was keen to explore a similar partnership for undergraduate students. The 3+1 BSc Programme which was subsequently developed in Applied Chemistry involves NUIST students studying in China for their first 3 years. After this, successful students can transfer to Reading for their final year.

This arrangement between NUIST and the University of Reading is one of only 17 such partnerships approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2010 allowing NUIST to recruit students from across the whole of China. During their 3 years in China, students take a mixture of modules, a core of which are taught in English and have been developed with input from Reading staff. Students then transfer to Reading for the final year of their Chemistry degree and receive a dual award from both Reading and NUIST.

The first cohort of 3+1 NUIST students enrolled on the programme in September 2011, and in May 2012 a small party comprising Dr Elizabeth Page, the Programme Director, Dr Matthew Almond and Dr John McKendrick spent some time in NUIST teaching first year classes in chemistry and ran a practical class in the new laboratory of the School of Environmental Science and Engineering. The visit was very successful for strengthening links between Reading and NUIST and the party were treated to a visit to a famous nearby mausoleum. Two fourth year students who are to study at Reading next year hosted the visit. To find out more, visit


Partnerships in China

Reading joins the Ameson Chinese Elite Programme In 2012 Professor Steve Mithen (Pro-Vice Chancellor-Internationalisation) visited Shanghai to formally begin working with the Ameson Foundation. This visit was the start of a process to facilitate entry of China’s gifted high school students to the University of Reading. The Ameson Education and Culture Exchange Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that is committed to the promotion and implementation of educational exchanged in China and abroad. Their Chinese Elite Programme is designed to support China’s brightest students

to develop their creative and critical thinking and so help them realise their goal of pursuing higher education at world-leading universities. Jeff Wang, Director of International Relations said .

and implementation of educational exchanges in China and abroad. Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali (the former Secretary General of the United Nations) is its honorary Chairman.

The University of Cambridge began working with the Ameson Foundation in 2002 to develop the highly respected Ameson Scholastic Test (AST). This test measures student aptitudes and proficiency in English, mathematics and physics. Founded in 1994, the Ameson Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is committed to the promotion

Ameson is an independent, nongovernmental, non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC, with support offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Jinan and Nanjing and 35 regional testing centers across China.

Professor Hugo Tucker (Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), Professor Steven Mithen, Anna Colquhoun Alberts and Mr Jeff Wang (Ameson)

‘Ameson is delighted to be working with the University of Reading. We select the very best of high school students in China and help them select the very best of universities around the world for their higher education. We are confident that many will choose the University of Reading’ Jeff Wang Director of International Relations 22

Additional information at

Partnerships in China

Professional development for Chinese teachers and administrators at the National Centre for Language and Literacy (NCLL) Links between the National Centre for Language and Literacy (NCLL) and China date back to 1998 when a visiting scholar requested help in twinning Reading schools with schools in Wenzhou. Five local schools were brought on board and staff exchanges organised. This was just the start of warm and enduring relationships with educators across China. The following year saw the launch of the first one-month summer course for secondary teachers of English from the Wenzhou Education Bureau, something which has been a regular fixture ever since. Other initiatives have followed, including courses for university teachers of English, head teachers and advanced teachers charged with curriculum reform.

The relationship with local teachers has remained a key element in the courses: a one week placement in partner schools is a highlight. Chinese teachers are able to observe classes across the curriculum, as well as learning about aspects of school organisation. In return, they offer staff and students the chance to learn about life in China through activities such as taster classes in Mandarin and demonstrations of music, dance, cookery, calligraphy and martial arts.

The pioneering work of NCLL from the late 1990s attracted the attention of the China Scholarship Council, leading to an invitation to develop a new threemonth programme for secondary school teachers of English as part of China’s Great Western Development Strategy.

But the benefits for participants extend well beyond the classroom. Accommodation with local families means they have the opportunity to experience British culture at first hand, at the same time as practising their English. One long-standing host commented: ‘We find that the experience enriches us; it opens your mind to other cultures. Their guest added her perspective: ‘My English has improved enormously. They have both been very patient and this has helped my studies and I’m very grateful for that’.

Since the launch of these courses in 2003, almost 800 teachers have been trained in Reading. Participants come from six provinces (Gansu, Guizhou, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Yunnan), five autonomous regions (Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet, and Xinjiang), and one municipality (Chongqing).

Following an invitation from the CSC and the Ministry of Education to develop a new national programme to strengthen student guidance and support in higher education (HE), administrators regarded as ‘rising stars’ in their respective institutions have been selected to take part from universities across China.

Topics and themes range from recent UK developments, such as widening participation and internationalisation to, other aspects of student welfare and academic support. 14 years experience has allowed NCLL to identify the main ingredients of quality programmes for Chinese course participants: a good balance between sound academic content and good cultural exposure, ensured by the active involvement of both British and Chinese colleagues in the planning and delivery.

‘I enjoy my work and feel privileged to be able to work with both British and Chinese colleagues to enhance knowledge creation and international understanding.’ Dr Daguo Li

In August 2011, Suzanne Graham of the Institute of Education gave a paper (with Denise Santos) at the World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA), held at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, China, entitled: ‘Foreign language listening comprehension in England: from current practice to improved pedagogy’. The paper reported findings from her on-going research project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. This was followed by a four-day visit to Harbin Institute of Technology, School of Foreign Languages.


Partnerships in China

Working together to deliver world-class green buildings and eco-cities School of Construction Management and Engineering Continued urbanisation in China will influence global climate change, resource and energy security, and environmental sustainability. By 2011, the total floor area of the existing building stock had already exceeded 44 billion m2. The annual amount of floor space added each year in China is approximately 2 billion m2, accounting for 50% of the world’s total. The Chinese construction industry has become a pillar of Chinese economic development. The School of Construction Management and Engineering has a long standing working relationship with China in education and research. In recent years, this has been further enhanced by a number of collaborative projects funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Education Trust, European Commission Asia-Link (EC-AsiaLink), British Council, Chinese Natural


Science Foundation, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD). The collaborations are focused on joint research, academic exchange and a postgraduate programme.

‘The network aims to stimulate research exchanges in sustainable built environments between UK and China.’

Current research projects include: 1 ‘Progressing Eco-city Policies into Mainstream Practice’. This project aims to provide advice to the Chinese ecocity development including energy policy, sustainable indicator systems, urban planning and finance /business models. The project involves UK and China construction companies working together to deliver world-class green buildings & eco-cities. 2 ‘A survey of urban micro climates and modelling an urban heat island for Chongqing, China.’ This project is investigating the microclimate changes due to the Three Gorges Reservoir on the Yangtze River. The project will simulate the urban heat island in Chongqing and analyse its impact on energy consumption in buildings. The output will be a revised guide for building design in the region.

Partnerships in China

Joint research with Chinese partners has influenced China’s green and energy efficient building policymaking, with the results being cited in the national standards, and included in the indoor environment code and energy efficient labelling systems. The University’s reputation in China has been enhanced through exchange programmes, visits and networking between UK and Chinese universities and research institutions. A number of the School staff are visiting professors, and the recently-established UK–China Low Carbon Green Building Eco-City network involves collaboration with a number of UK universities and Chongqing University, Chongqing Green Building Council, China Academy of Building Research and Tsinghua University. The network aims to stimulate research exchanges in sustainable built environments between UK and China. The School has established partnerships with several leading Chinese universities including Tsinghua, Chongqing, Tongji, Xi’an Architecture and Technology, Xinan Jiaotong universities. For more information about The School of Construction Management and Engineering, visit:

Dr Yao (centre, first row) signing the memorandum at the China Academic Mission workshop

Dr Runming Yao is a Reader in Sustainable Built Environments at the School of Construction Management and Engineering. She is currently a Guest Professor of Chongqing University and has engaged in a number of projects with colleagues from Chongqing University, and industrial colleagues from the built environment in Chongqing. In the autumn of 2011, she attended the UK China Academic Mission workshop, during which the attendees formed a China UK low carbon, green building and eco-city network with Chongqing University and Chongqing green Building Council.

Professor Stuart Green Professor Green is Head of the School of Construction Management and Engineering and Director and Principal Investigator of the Innovative Construction Research Centre (ICRC). He is also professor of construction management, a chartered civil engineer and a chartered builder, and sits on the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, set up to independently monitor London’s pledge to host the most sustainable and greenest Olympic Games to date. Professor Green was recently appointed to Chongqing University as a Guest Professor. 25

Partnerships in China

The School of Systems Engineering in China The School of Systems Engineering (SSE) at the University of Reading brings together a unique mix of three major technical areas and degree programmes: Electronic Engineering, Cybernetics, and Computer science. Its mission is to conduct outstanding research and provide quality education, whilst working closely with business and international partners.

The school’s research groups maintain a worldwide reputation in a wide range of computing and engineering specialities and constantly seeks collaborations that allow them to apply their understanding to aspects of Digital Society, Security, Health Technology, as well as Energy and Environment. SSE’s graduates are readily employable and enjoy an enviable reputation with local industry in the heart of the UK’s Silicon Valley. At postgraduate level, the school offers Masters programmes in Digital Signal Processing and Communications, Cybernetics, and Advanced Computing, as well as PhD supervision in a range of speciality areas. Much of the research and teaching involves close links with industry. For instance, Reading is one of the very best UK providers of Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) research programmes and have close links with multinational companies such as CISCO and CSC in the curriculum. Most undergraduate students can also opt for a one-year paid placement in industry, enormously benefiting their career prospect. Internationally, the school has teaching and research partnership arrangements with universities in Europe, China, Americas, and Africa. For more information, please visit

The School of Systems Engineering at Reading has had a long history of collaborating with universities in China, both in teaching and in research. Some of its partners and programmes are listed below. Beijing Jiao Tong University (BJTU), Beijing: ‘2+2’ and ‘3+2’ double degree programmes for undergraduate students with the School of Electronic and Information Engineering and the School of Computer and Information Technology, and ‘0+1+2’ for Masters students with the School of Electronic and Information Engineering. University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), Chengdu: ‘0+1+2’ for Masters students with the School of Computer Science and Engineering. Research collaboration with several Schools and Laboratories Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), Beijing: Student exchange programme for undergraduate students (1 -2 terms). Henan University of Technology (HAUT), Zhengzhou: ‘2+2’ programmes for undergraduate students with the School of Information Science and Engineering. Harbin Institute of Technology: Research collaboration with the Communications Research Centre, Department of Communications Engineering.


Partnerships in China

The Informatics Research Centre and Beijing Institute of Technology The Informatics Research Centre (IRC), part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading, has offered an innovative and highly appraised MSc programme in collaboration with Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) since 2007. Students experience 18 months of extensive study and learning experiences with the combined world class expertise from the University of Reading and Beijing Institute of Technology. A survey for student satisfaction, conducted in 2011, found that 100% of students taking part in the survey were satisfied or very satisfied with this programme. The survey also found that the special culture within IRC, excellent teaching quality, stimulating teaching and

learning environment, and administrative support were all proven to be a unique experience for the students who have completed this programme. The students have supervised precourse preparation by BIT academic staff followed by an intensive 4-day lecture schedule from lecturers at the University of Reading. This is completed by revision sessions from BIT staff. Students have found the programme structure to be highly effective in providing a dual perspective from both Reading and BIT expertise. Since 2007, 57 students have attended or are currently attending the programme. Among them, 35 have successfully completed and graduated with MSc degrees. The remaining 22

are still studying with the majority of them expected to complete in early 2013. The programme is approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the degree is also recognised by the Chinese authorities. Over 90% of graduates have found satisfactory employment within 6 months of graduating. Henley Business School and the University of Reading highly value the fruitful and positive collaboration with BIT. Further initiatives are under discussion aiming to develop and improve the learning experiences for students with a wider choice of modules and more flexible delivery and learning support mechanisms.

Staff profiles Professor Kecheng Liu

Dr Yinshan Tang

Dr. Kecheng Liu, Fellow of British Computer Society and professor of Informatics, is Head of School of Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting, Henley Business School. He is also the Director of Informatics Research Centre, and is Deputy Director of Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments, both being multidisciplinary research centres within the University of Reading. He has published over 200 papers in conferences and journals, and also 7 books. His research work spans from organisational semiotics, requirements studies, enterprise information systems management and engineering, business processing modelling, alignment of business and IT strategies, co-design of business and IT systems, healthcare informatics, pervasive informatics and intelligent spaces for working and living.

Senior Lecturer of Business Informatics and Deputy Director of Informatics Research Centre Dr Yinshan Tang is a lecturer at Henley Business School who has been teaching IT Project Management, Research Methods, Applied Informatics, Organisation Design and Performance Management at MSc level for nearly 8 years. He worked as a Business Unit Manager for a business consulting firm for several years before joining Reading.

As a world leading expert, Prof. Liu serves in several journal editorial boards, and is the convenor of the International Forum of Organisational Semiotics. In various capacities such as senior advisor, consultant and academic lead, he has contributed to UK and international industrial sectors such as intelligent buildings, IT and business consulting, national police IT organisations, and healthcare providers.

He holds visiting Professorships at Beijing Institute of Technology, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University and Nanjing University of Information Technology and Science.

Dr Tang is also the Director of Internationalisation of Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting. As a Director of internationalisation, he has developed links with various Chinese universities on collaborative provision of degrees at BSc, MSc and PhD levels, which gives him the opportunity to visit China frequently.


Partnerships in China

ICMA Centre The centre of choice for Chinese students studying finance in the UK In 2011/12, the Centre was home to 29 Chinese undergraduate students as well as 145 postgraduate students. There are currently 671 Chinese nationals in the ICMA alumni network. Part of the triple-accredited Henley Business School, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre is the product of the first active collaboration between the securities industry and a university finance department. The Centre has a global reputation for its excellence in undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education, as well as professional and policy development research and consultancy. The practical application of finance theory is one of the ICMA Centre’s key advantages and is why students


and financial institutions alike choose the Centre for their education and training needs. This integration of theory with practice is achieved through the use of the Centre’s three state-of-the-art dealing rooms. All equipped by Thomson Reuters, the terminals run the latest industry simulation software as well as the Centre’s own simulation software platforms; ICTrader and StockTrak. Now in its 21st year, there are a number of reasons the centre continues to go from strength to strength:

• The integration of applied finance theory and industry specific education • Innovative teaching by world renowned academics and industry practitioners • Strong links with banks, trade bodies and other financial institutions • The largest and best equipped dealing rooms in any European business school • Excellent employment rate facilitated by our dedicated Career Development service. Find out more at:

Partnerships in China

Chestnut Luk BSc Finance and Investment Banking, 2011 ‘The ICMA Centre is one of the few places in the UK offering a tailored finance course for those who aim to break into the financial industry. In such a highly competitive environment and with the ever-changing financial markets, I believe financial knowledge is of utmost importance to differentiate oneself from others. The facilities supporting the Centre are fantastic, such as the dealing rooms, which are the trademark of the ICMA Centre. The quality of the lectures is good and some lecturers are currently working in the industry and have hands-on experience. The course is well structured and covers a diversity of topics enabling you to work in a variety of areas in the financial markets. I like the fact that we started studying topics such as exchange traded funds (ETF), options and trading simulation in the first year. One of the other main attractions is that Reading is close to London – it only takes 30 minutes by train. The campus is great, Henley Business School and the ICMA Centre are pretty new and everything is in walking distance.’

Visit from Chinese delegates to ICMA Centre In May 2012, the ICMA Centre hosted 37 delegates from the Securities Association of China for a 3 week course on Asset Management studies. The students represented various members of the Securities Association of China and came from across the nation. During their last week at Reading, the delegates were treated to a special evening at the Greenlands campus of Henley Business School where they were presented with their certificates and treated to a barbecue on the lawns overlooking the Thames. ‘The visit has been a very positive experience for both the delegates and the teaching staff,’ says Professor Adrian Bell of the ICMA Centre, ‘Not only have the members of the Securities Association learnt a lot that will help them as they move forward in their careers, but they have also had a chance to forge exciting new networks across their home country and here in the UK.’

Ling Chen MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking, 2011 ‘I chose the ICMA Centre because it has an international reputation in the global financial markets industry and it possesses experienced industry experts and professionals as lecturers. The accessible facilities are excellent, especially with its fully equipped dealing rooms, which are the largest among all European business schools. Another important factor that I considered is that most graduates have found good jobs in the finance industry, either in investment banks, securities companies or other financial institutions in the UK and worldwide. I am sure that ICMA Centre graduates have brilliant future career paths. Unlike many other courses at universities, which may focus more specifically on the theory, the courses in the ICMA Centre allow us to put theory into practice and as a result, we are better prepared. The course I chose was the MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking, which has the longest history among all the MSc courses. The course was demanding but very interesting and satisfying. It was also flexible, I was provided with a wide range of elective courses in the second term that I could choose according to my preference; thanks to that, my knowledge of finance has been diversified and sophisticated.’


Partnerships in China

Crop research in China Considerable attention has recently focused on how the global food system can cope with on-going increases in the human population, changes in diet, and greater demands on energy and water resources. China has seen a remarkable transformation of its agricultural sector over the last 30–40 years towards a highly productive, modern production system. However, climate change is expected to bring warmer temperatures, changes to rainfall patterns and increased frequency of extreme weather to the main agricultural regions of China. How will these changes impact on food crops and how confident can we be that crop production in a changing climate can meet future demands? Over the last 12 years or so, the Crops and Climate Group of the Walker Institute has developed a crop forecasting system that simulates the impacts of climate variability and change on


the productivity (yield) of crops. We trained senior scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences to use this forecasting model and adapted it to predict wheat yields across China, under current climate conditions and future climate change. By combining our model with the output of numerical climate models, we can examine where crop yields could decline under climate change, where we could see benefits, and how yields may change across China in the future. More recently we have linked mathematical models of the river flows in the Yellow River Basin to models of the wheat crops that cover 65% of the catchment to study the interactions between climate, water resources and crops. Worldwide, agriculture uses 75% of the world’s fresh water, so these links are crucial to the sustainability of food systems, particularly for a catchment of the importance of the Yellow River Basin.

The impacts of climate change on agriculture and food will vary from one part of China to another, and change over time. Local context within the large-scale global trends is important for providing information to farmers and their advisers seeking to adapt to these new challenges. We have also been working with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science to understand how farmers in Inner Mongolia and Anhui province recognise and adapt to changes to their environment, and how climate impacts on their livelihoods. This information was used to develop small-scale climate adaptation plans and advice for local and regional policy-makers. Novel ways of communicating climate advice to farmers were developed, including playing cards with agricultural themes. For more information, visit

Partnerships in China

Staff profile: Dr Ashley Thorpe Department of Film, Television & Theatre Over the last 10 years, Dr Thorpe has been researching into the practice of traditional Chinese theatre, specifically Beijing Opera. Perhaps more than any other genre of China’s performing arts, Beijing Opera is recognised internationally as a distinctly Chinese art form, and it remains an important part of China’s living theatrical heritage. Researching the practice of Chinese theatre is a surprisingly rare phenomenon in Western Universities. Emphasis is often placed on the text, particularly its relevance to Chinese society, as well as its translation into Western languages. Whilst Dr Thorpe’s research also draws

upon these approaches, it focuses specifically on the event of performance, including an analysis of performance technique and directorial interpretation evident in a given production. This research is underpinned by practical experience of the form: Dr Thorpe has undertaken actor training in Beijing Opera in Beijing and Shanghai, and participated in performances of Beijing Opera in the UK. Dr Thorpe’s cultural position as a Western European academic studying Beijing Opera has become central to his research. In particular, he is concerned with the internationalisation of Beijing Opera and the dialogue practitioners have developed with Western performing arts to attract new audiences. The use of multimedia in performance, musical structures derived from Western

symphonies, and newly written plays based upon canonical Western texts, are all a focus of his investigations. He is also interested in the ways in which Beijing Opera has been received in the West, especially in Britain. This research ranges from an examination of Beijing Opera troupes based in Britain, to a practical exploration of intercultural texts that combine Western and Chinese performance techniques. Most recently, he directed Xiong Shiyi’s Lady Precious Stream, an English-language adaptation of Wang Bao Chuan, which was the first play to be written and co-directed by a Chinese Director in London’s West-End in 1934. For more information, visit

Photo by Shi Xinyun of ‘The White Snake Goddess’, a multimedia piece of Beijing Opera performed in Shanghai in 2009.


Partnerships in China

Partnership with the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission Chongqing is the fastest growing city in China. It is the main industrial city in Southwest China, located within the Chongqing municipality which (in 2012) has a population of 32 million. Reading’s links with Chongqing began with collaboration between Reading’s School of Construction Management and the Faculty of Urban Construction and Environmental Engineering of Chongqing University. That relationship continues to thrive with the recent appointment of Chongqing’s Professor Baizhan Li, an expert in the built environment, as a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading.


On 23 November 2012 Reading’s engagement with the Municipality of Chongqing expanded to potentially cover all subject areas by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission. The signing took place at the Chongqing Sino-Foreign Cooperative Education Forum, part of the China’s 4th International Trade Summit which immediately followed the 18th National Conference of the Communist party of China. Delegates from throughout the world participated in the Education Forum where Professor Steven Mithen had been invited to deliver a speech on the role of international collaboration in the development of higher education.

Partnerships in China

A delegation from Chongqing visited Reading in October 2012. The delegation was led by Madam Shiyu Li, Chongqing’s Director of International Cooperation and Exchanges, and included Professor Xinping Yan, President of Chongqing University of Science and Technology and Mr Jingang Du, Chairman of Chongqing Ziyuan Group Ltd

‘The University of Reading is famous throughout China for its world class teaching and research. The Chongqing Municipal Education Commission is delighted to enter into a partnership with Reading to help develop higher education in China’s fastest growing city’ Dr Zhao Wei Liang, Secretary General Deputy Director of the Chongqing Education Working Committee and Municipal Education Commission

The signing of the MoU arose from discussions with the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, Chongqing University of Science and Technology and the Chongqing Ziyuan Group Ltd about how the University of Reading can provide support to the expansion of higher education in Chongqing. This is likely to involve several activities including the training of academics, delivery of lectures, joint research projects and teaching partnerships. Reading is the only UK University to have gained such a prestigious partnership with Chongqing.

On 23 November 2012 Professor Steven Mithen signed an agreement for cooperation with Dr Zhao Wei Liang, the Secretary General Deputy Director of the Chongqing Education Working Committee and Municipal Education Commission.


As a world class, research intensive university we have a wealth of collaborative projects with institutions around the world. Many of the world’s best academics and students come to study, teach and engage in research at Reading. We have particular strengths in the type of inter-disciplinary research that is critical to tackling the global challenges of the twenty-first century, such as those concerning climate change, food security and sustainable construction. We continue to push forward the boundaries of knowledge within the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences. China – its academics, students, history, universities and current role within the world – is absolutely central to our endeavours. Professor Christine Williams Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation


Partnerships in China

Reading’s MA in English Language Education at Guangdong The Chinese Ministry of Education has approved the delivery of Reading’s Institute of Education’s MA in English Language Education at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies Reading’s Institute of Education has a community of international students from over 100 countries, taking short courses, Masters and PhDs. It hosts visiting international researchers, undertakes consultancy and other projects around the world, most recently working in Jamaica, Oman, Bahrain, Vietnam, and Kazakhstan amongst a wide range of countries. China and Chinese students are central to its international agenda, which has recently been developed by a partnership with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) for the joint delivery of its MA

in English Language Education. It will combine the strengths of the University of Reading with its expertise in a wide range of areas in education and those of GDUFS as a leader in English language education and applied linguistics in China. The programme is designed for teachers of English in primary and secondary schools in China as well as new graduates who aspire to become English teachers, and will take 12 months. Teaching will be evenly split between the University of Reading and GDUFS, with staff from Reading delivering module content intensively in China over the academic

year. Professor Jeanine Treffers-Daller and Dr Daguo Li will be responsible for the programme with the first cohort expected to start in 2013–2014. This international collaborative provision will produce graduates with high qualifications and enhanced understanding of theory and practice in English Language Education. It will help to drive China’s educational reform and promote international understanding. The programme supports the international strategies of both the University of Reading and GDUFS and will help enhance the reputations of both institutions.


Partnerships in China

Mandarin within the Institution Wide Language Programme Any member of the University community has the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese with the InstitutionWide Language Programme (IWLP), which offers courses from beginner to intermediate levels as part of its wider language portfolio. Undergraduates can take Mandarin Chinese as part of their degree or as additional study. Postgraduates and staff can also enrol. As with the other languages within IWLP, the focus is on communication. From day one students learn Mandarin Chinese by using in it in real situations. At beginner level the attention is on the language for every-day situations, especially those encountered when travelling to China. Mandarin Chinese was introduced into the programme in 2008 and its popularity has grown over the years, reaching a record of 60 beginner students this year.


They have been introduced to the subtle rich and wonderful Chinese culture differences of tonal pronunciation and and the complexity and beauty of the the basic of Pinyin – a system of writing language’. A student course evaluation Mandarin Chinese using the Latin reads: ‘The tutor’s passion for the subject alphabet – before moving on to learning was manifested. An awesome teacher, Chinese characters. both inspiring and ‘Unlike an alphabet dedicated’. ‘I fell in love with the which represents only To maximise the rich and wonderful sounds, each Chinese opportunities for character has a unique Chinese culture and students to explore meaning’ explains the language and the complexity and Ms Con Xia Li, who, culture further, a beauty of the language’ number of extra together with Dr Rebekah Zhao, forms activities take place the team of enthusiastic and experienced around the language courses. This teachers leading the courses. year there have been Mandarin The student experience seemed very positive. A recent student said: ‘After growing up speaking a few European languages, I wanted to try something new and daring. Something that would challenge me … I fell in love with the

conversation groups, facilitated by the Chinese visiting academics and workshops on Chinese calligraphy, painting and crafts. For more information, visit

Chinese students at Reading join those from the UK, Europe, Africa, India, the US and many other countries to form a diverse and cosmopolitan student body. A wide range of sporting and cultural opportunities ensures students have an outstanding experience within a supportive environment. Dr Jennifer Ghandhi Director of Student Learning and Teaching Services


Partnerships in China

Digging China: Reading archaeologists go East A Joint Research Centre for the Origin and Diffusion of Agriculture is being established by the Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, and the Institute of Chinese Agricultural Civilization of Nanjing Agricultural University After millions of years of living by hunting and gathering, communities in several parts of the world independently began to cultivate plants and herd animals, marking the start of the Neolithic period. This led to the first farming villages which then enabled the development of towns, trade and ultimately the first civilisations – in the Middle East, China and Mesoamerica. The Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading has a long tradition of expertise on the origin of farming

1. Delegates attending the ‘Origins and Diffusion of Agriculture’ conference in Nanjing, 15–20 December 2013.


and growth of civilisation in the Middle East and the spread of farming lifestyles into Europe. It is now expanding its geographical coverage of the Neolithic to include China by developing a Joint Research Centre with the Institute of Chinese Agricultural Civilization, Nanjing Agricultural University. The first step was taken in December 2012 by a conference held in Nanjing, co-organised by Professor Siming Wang, Director of the Institute of Chinese

Agricultural Civilization, and Reading’s Professor Roger Matthews, who conducts excavations at Neolithic settlements in Iraq. Along with Roger, Reading archaeologists Martin Bell, Wendy Matthews, Steven Mithen, Karen Wicks and Bill Finlayson (Visiting Professor) joined twenty Chinese archaeologists and delegates from Korea and Vietnam for a meeting that compared the origin and diffusion of agriculture in the Middle East, Europe and China.

2. Dr Wendy Matthews presenting her paper on ‘Interdisciplinary approaches to Neolithic settlement and ecology in Central Anatolia, Turkey’

Partnerships in China

Following the conference, a threeday tour was made to some of the key archaeological sites and museums in the vicinity of Nanjing. These included the Neolithic sites of Caoxie Mountain and Chuo Dun in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, where some of the first rice paddies were created 6000 years ago, and the water-logged site of Tianluoshan. Located close to Ningbo in Zhejiang Province, Tianluoshan was part of the Neolithic

Hemudu Culture that flourished in the wetlands of eastern China between 7,000 and 5500 years ago. The site remains under excavation by Professor Sun Guoping of the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

3. Professors Roger Matthews and Martin Bell at the water-logged Neolithic site of Tianhuoshan, part of the Hemudu Culture. All of the Reading archaeologists, and especially Martin who excavates water-logged sites in Britain, were staggered by the quality of preservation and the extent of the excavation.

4. Professor Sun Guoping and Dr Zheng Yunfei, both of the Zhejiang Pronincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, showing Steven Mithen some of the artefacts, bones and plant remains they have excavated from Tianhuoshan

Plans were made for the development of the Joint Research Centre. The next steps will be the publication of the conference proceedings and a workshop in Reading that will provide an opportunity for

Chinese archaeologists to visit some of our key archaeological sites, notably Stonehenge. Positive discussions were made about collaborative research involving the application of Reading’s expertise in geoarchaeology to learn more about the Neolithic in China. For more information about archaeology at Reading, visit

5. Toasting the future success of the joint research centre: clockwise from bottom: Professor Siming Wang, Professor Bill Finlayson, Professor Zhao Zhijun, Professor Hui Fuping, Professor Dukkyung Choi, Professor Martin Bell, Professor Roger Matthews, Dr Wendy Matthews, Dr Karen Wicks


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Our students and Alumni

Finance in Emerging Economies

Agricultural Development Economics

Renewable Energy: Technology & Sustainability

Music Teaching in Professional Practice

Development Planning and Research Economics of International Business and Finance International Economic Development Applied and Modern Optics International Business and Economic Development Economic Development Business Technology Consulting Food Science in Emerging Markets

Business Information Management

Chemical Research European Union Law


Marketing and International Management

Fine Art Horticulture International Accounting and Financial Management

Real Estate


Construction Cost Management

Food Technology: Quality Assurance Applied Informatics Food and Nutritional Sciences



Real Estate and Planning Psychology

Computer Science Biological Sciences


Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

International Capital Market Association

Food Biosciences

Environmental Management

International Commercial Law

International Business and Finance


International Foundation Programme

Agricultural and Food Economics


Economics and Business Philosophy

Construction Management & Engineering


Agriculture Electronic Engineering International Securities Markets Association Animal and Microbial Sciences International Business and Strategy

Soil Science

Mathematics of Scientific and Industrial Computation

Applied Management


Real Estate Finance & Investment

Environment and Development

Digital Signal Processing and Communications

Communication for Innovation & Development

Informatics Applied Linguistics

International Accounting & Strategy Consulting

International Management and Accounting

Investment Management Teaching and Learning

Construction Management

International Banking and Financial Services

Applied Meteorology

Computer Science

Network and e-Business Centred Computing

Business and Management in Emerging Markets

Financial Engineering

English Language Teaching

International Securities Investment and Banking

Instrumental Teaching


International Management

Social Development & Sustainable Livelihoods

International Shipping and Finance

Financial Management Business Analysis

Key Undergraduate programmes Postgraduate teaching programmes Postgraduate research programmes Other programmes

For more information For more information and to discuss what Reading could offer you, please contact: Reading International Office +44 (0) 118 378 6982


Our students and Alumni

‘Reading is a good place to study and I love the environment.’

Student profile Weishun Jiang MSc Banking and Financial Systems in the Global Economy What attracted you to the University of Reading? Why did you decide to do your course? The location of Reading is what attracted me to the University. I chose my course because I wanted to continue studying Economics. Reading is a good place to study and I love the environment. What do / did you enjoy most about living in Reading itself? It’s a small town, its quiet and the people are nice. Its also convenient for travelling to other parts of the country. What have you enjoyed about studying and living in Reading? Everything has gone well during this year. I really appreciate the efforts that the University has made. Is there anything else you would like to share with future students? What are you planning to do when you finish your course? I have found that the lecturers are good and are motivating. I hope to find work in the Asia region after I graduate from the University of Reading. What were you doing before you started your course? What are you hoping to do after you have completed your postgraduate course? I studied a bachelor’s degree at the University of Greenwich before coming to Reading. I chose a postgraduate course at Reading because I hope that it will make me a more competitive candidate in the future. And it will also broaden my horizons.


Many of our Chinese students are studying for postgraduate research degrees. Our Graduate School ensures that in addition to academic courses, they also gain generic research and transferable skills that will enhance their future employability. The Graduate School also enables networking for our doctoral researchers across the whole range of disciplines of the University. Professor Dianne Berry Director of the Graduate School


Our students and Alumni

The Annual Fund changing students’ lives One of the many projects funded in 2011 was for Reading students to make a visit to the Beijing Opera


Susanna Pincock, Film and Theatre

Lewis Mercato, Film and Theatre

‘I heard about the Annual fund through my friend, she knew that I would struggle to go on this trip without a bit of support. It meant that I could go away to China for 2 weeks, and study an art form which I have a passionate interest in. The money was put towards the classes I was taking whilst I was out there. It meant that I could learn all the techniques in Beijing Opera, and it paid for us to get dressed in full Chinese theatre costumes, as well as having the make-up and wigs applied by professionals. Thank you for helping me to have the experience of a lifetime!’

‘A massive thank you to the donors for providing this Fund, which has fulfilled a long time desire of mine to visit China. As I would never have been able to afford paying the costs on my own, the donors have greatly contributed to a beneficial, educational and enjoyable trip which I will never forget.’

Our students and Alumni

The Annual fund provides an opportunity for alumni, staff and friends of the University to make a significant difference to the lives of our students. Since the annual fund was established in 2004, more than 6,000 donors have helped to raise over £3 million to enhance the student experience. From funding various academic and extracurricular projects across campus, to helping hundreds of students in financial need, the generosity of our donors continues to provide invaluable support to our students. Find out more at alu-support-annualfund.aspx

Facts We have over 2,000 alumni from China We have over 6,000 donors from 70 countries across the world The annual fund has supported nearly 100 projects to date. The annual fund supports the international hardship fund and international masters bursaries each year.

Natasha Ennakhoui, English Literature, and Film and Theatre

Joanna Sebastian-Green, Film and Theatre

‘The Annual fund has helped me in relation to my Chinese Theatre course which allowed me to travel to China. The trip was intended to give me an overall greater understanding of Eastern theatre and its elements as well as the rich culture of China. Furthermore, learning such ideas would greatly help me in my final performance in Chinese theatre.

‘If I met one of the donors I couldn’t do a lot but give them hundreds of Thank Yous. Going to China was such a great opportunity which I’m so grateful to have experienced. I learnt so much about Beijing Opera and got given a chance to get dressed up in full make-up and costume. So if they got bored of the Thank Yous, I would happily perform what I learnt because it was so much fun learning about it.’

With the aid of the Donor Study and Travel Fund, I was given the opportunity to meet professional teachers skilled in Chinese Theatre and physically participate in the singing and choreography that is closely associated with Beijing Opera. I had the chance to dress in traditional Chinese costume and make-up and do a performance. It was an amazing experience and I think everyone of us who travelled to China was extremely grateful that the Travel Fund could support us. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that we all thoroughly enjoyed.’


Our students and Alumni

Our Chinese alumni The University of Reading is proud of its long history of welcoming students from China, the first being from Shantung in 1924. Over 2,000 Chinese alumni have graduated from Reading in a variety of subjects, and have gone on to forge successful careers in the food industry, leading universities, as well as prominent business and financial organisations.

Our alumni tell us that networking and contacts are crucial to their careers, so in recent years we have hosted events in China in order to facilitate this. The most recent of these was held at the British Council in Beijing and was attended by around 80 enthusiastic alumni, keen to reconnect with each other and the University. In order to continue to support our alumni in China, activities such as these will only increase in the future. For more information about our alumni, visit

Around 80 alumni attended our event in Beijing in 2011, and we now hope to hold annual events.


Our students and Alumni

Lei Xu, Multinational Accounting and Financial Management MSc, 2003 I had worked in accounting for seven years in China before I arrived at the University of Reading to study Multinational Accounting and Financial Management in 2002. After graduation in 2003, I took up the position of Financial Manager in a joint venture and obtained the Advanced Level of Qualification Certificate of Specialty and Technology. In 2007, I joined Crowcon Detective Company Ltd of British Halma Group in Beijing as the Financial Controller and am still enjoying this role. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? I compared the courses offered by a few different universities, but my top choice was the Multinational Accounting and Financial Management offered at Reading because it was very practical. Furthermore, I really liked the campus and Whiteknights Lake in particular – I was completely obsessed with it when I was first there. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

‘I made some really good friends at Reading and we still keep in touch nearly ten years after graduation, despite living in different countries around the globe.’

I really liked the fact that Reading was a small, quiet town but if you wanted to go to London to experience the metropolis culture, you could do so very easily. Reading gives you the best of both worlds. What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies? Study hard but make an effort to make new friends, have a good time and make the most of your time at the University. Study hard, play hard and enjoy campus walks! What are you up to now? How did you get there? I am now a Financial Controller in a global group. I believe educational background, experience and networking through friends, particularly the friends I made during my studies, helped me get to where I am today. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? The Multinational Accounting and Financial Management MSc was excellent and practical. After graduation, my career prospects increased significantly and more opportunities came up for me in Accounting and Finance. What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory? I made some really good friends at Reading and we still keep in touch nearly ten years after graduation, despite living in different countries around the globe. There is normally an alumni get together every few years in Beijing, which makes me feel connected to the University.


Our students and Alumni

Chinese New Year was celebrated with many VIP guests including the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, the Mayor of Reading, the President of the CSSA, an officer from the Chinese Embassy Education Section, the Director of the University’s International Office and representatives from the Student Services Centre.

Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) Under the guidance of Education Section, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Reading, is one of the largest Chinese communities in Reading. CSSA Reading is a non-political, nonreligious and non-profit organisation, which organises, sponsors, and supports various social and cultural activities among Chinese students and scholars in Reading. The association also maintains close connections with other CSSA organisations across the UK. CSSA Reading is committed to developing unique and attractive programs and activities locally. This enables Chinese students and scholars in Reading, and all other individuals who are interested in China and Chinese culture to experience and enjoy a richer, fuller, and more successful life in Reading.


CSSA Reading is led by a President, which is elected by CSSA committee at our annual general meeting, together with a group of Vice Presidents, supervised by a group of consultants. CSSA Reading has 10 divisions- Secretary, Finance, Public Relation, Media & Press, Human Resource, Academic & Career, Entertainments & Sports, Travelling Activities, Life & Leisure, Science & Technique. CSSA Reading has two annual events – Mid-Autumn Day, National Day & Freshers’ Welcome Event and Traditional Spring Festival Gala. These two are the biggest and the most influential Chinese activities in Reading. Shuojing Wang, President of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association Find out more at Renren Page: Weibo Page:

Our students and Alumni

Liu Xinghua PhD English Language

An award winning recent alumnus writes I made an excellent decision by choosing to conduct my PhD research at the University of Reading. First of all, I am most grateful to the University for giving me the opportunity to study in the UK by offering me a Postgraduate Studentship (Overseas). The generous provision of financial support enabled me to concentrate on my research project. Secondly, the University offers unparalleled facilities and support to its students. Whenever you have any difficulties (either in your studying or daily life), you can always find professional guidance and kind help either from

your own school or from other relevant university departments, such as the library or student services centre. What’s more, the city of Reading itself is truly international, dynamic and vibrant – an ideal place to live. All in all, as an international student, you will not feel lonely or isolated in Reading, but have a sense of being encouraged, motivated and cherished. A few months before my graduation, I was granted the ‘2011 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad’ which serves the best testimony to the fruitful time I have spent in Reading. The four years in Reading have

About the award The Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-funded Students Abroad for 2012 was given to 495 Chinese students doing PhD research in more than 20 countries. More information about the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) can be found here:

been the most rewarding and memorable time in my life. They not only empowered me with new knowledge, but also enriched my life with an international perspective. Personally, I regard this award as recognition for the University’s research excellence in language studies, and exceptional support for international students. Now I am teaching linguistic subjects at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I am sure that my learning experience at Reading will prepare me for any challenges in my future life.


All of our students, whether coming from the UK or overseas, are regarded as international students – indeed, they are the first generation of truly global citizens. We educate our students to the highest possible academic standards and expect each and every one of them to attain their maximum potential. This ensures they have the best preparation possible for future graduate-level employment and for meeting the challenges and realising the worldwide opportunities of the twenty-first century. Professor Gavin Brooks Pro-Vice-Chancellor Teaching & Learning


Our students and Alumni

Employability Going global with the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre! The University attracts a large volume of employers and organisations offering Reading students and graduates international opportunities, both for placements and graduate jobs. Our employers can range from large, globally recognised recruiters through to NGO’s and charitable organisations. Now that every undergraduate course has an accredited placement option available, the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre can also help students find relevant placement providers across the globe as part of their studies, not only to enrich their academic and cultural experience but also to enhance their employment prospects. Students wishing to explore the possibility of an international placement can do so through schemes advertised by the Centre or, they can be supported by

our careers and placement staff in finding opportunities they’d prefer to explore independently. Our online vacancies database, TARGET Connect profiles a large number of international placement providers specifically targeting University of Reading students. The Centre is also currently working on two projects which we hope will increase our student’s appetite for gaining experience overseas. The first is our ‘Link-China internship scheme’, an exciting initiative aiming to establish

placements in China. The Centre and Reading International Office are working with partners, Thames Valley’s Chambers of Commerce and various educational providers in China itself, to get the scheme off the ground by summer 2013. Our second project is managed by our new Postgraduate Employability Projects Officer, who is investigating the potential for placements at home and abroad specifically for postgraduate students. For more information, please see:


In focus

Our partners in China The University of Reading is very proud of its partnerships across China. Recent partnerships for the University include Peking University, Tsinghua University and Renmin University of China. Reading has a long history of working in partnership with China’s best universities as academic collaborations have grown from shared research interests in the fields of Meteorology, Food Science, Agriculture and Theatre (to name just a few) in to sustained teaching and research collaborations. 1

Beijing Peking University Law School Tsinghua University Law School Renmin, University of China Beijing Institute of Technology Beijing Language & Culture University Beijing Foreign Studies University


Shanghai Shanghai University East China Normal University East China University of Political Science and Law Shanghai Theatre Academy


Chongqing, Chongqing University


Gansu Province, Lanzhou University


Guangdong Province, Sun Yat Sen


Henan Province, Henan University of Technology (HAUT)


Jiangsu Province

Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST) Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) Jiangnan University 8

Liaoning Province, Dalian Maritime University


Shaanxi Province Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University

10 Sichuan Province

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) 11


Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University




4 6

7 2 11

10 3


Hong Kong


Our students and Alumni

Please contact the International Office if you would like to learn more about working in partnership with the University of Reading: International Office University of Reading Blandford Lodge Whiteknights Reading, RG6 6AB United Kingdom Tel +44 188 378 6899

University of Reading engaging with China  
University of Reading engaging with China  

The University of Reading's engagement with China in education and research.