Principal part of Russell Group delegation to China

Published: 8 November 2016

Discussions between the UK and China’s leading universities last week focussed on strengthening relationships and sharing approaches to global challenges.

In the first delegation of its kind, eight Vice-Chancellors from the Russell Group (the UK’s 24 leading research-intensive universities) were in China last week for a dialogue with leaders from the China 9 (C9) – an alliance of nine elite universities in mainland China.

Anton Muscatelli addresses the China 9 - Russell Group delegation in Shanghai, Nov 2016

Discussions focussed on strengthening relationships and sharing approaches to global challenges.

UofG Principal Professor Anton Muscatelli was the only Scottish higher education principal to participate in the delegation.

The China 9–Russell Group dialogue was co-chaired by Professor Jie Zhang, President of Shanghai JiaoTong University, and Professor Sir David Greenaway, Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham.

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

Joint statement

China 9 - Russell Group Shanghai Nov 2016 - statement signingFollowing formal discussions, President Zhang and Professor Greenaway signed a Joint Russell Group–China 9 Statement on:

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

Professor Sir David Greenaway said: “Our universities are international institutions that thrive on their academic links around the world. They recognise that big scientific, economic and social challenges will only be solved when the best minds work together through global research collaboration.

“I am delighted we are signing this joint statement with our colleagues from the C9. By deepening our engagement and sharing our approaches to complex global challenges, our universities can continue to lead the world in producing excellent research."

President Jie ZHANG said: “C9 and Russell Group represent the best universities in China and Britain which serve as the mainstay of higher education in their respective countries and enjoy high prestige in the world education community. I am delighted to see that substantial collaborations between our universities have been successfully carried out in the last few years. The signing of the joint statement is another milestone in the relationship between the two groups and will surely lead to a closer and more fruitful cooperation in the years to come.

"The 21st century is an era of knowledge-based economy with competition focused on knowledge and talents. Leading innovative research universities like us have a prominent role to play in the new economy whose success and prosperity depend largely on the knowledge creation and scientific innovation through international research collaboration. I am sure by working together we will be able to elevate our capacity of research and cultivating innovative talents to a new realm and to leverage our respective strengths to solve major global challenges, fulfil our commitments and make significant contributions to the rapid developments of our societies and human life.

"C9 universities are ready to join hands with Russell Group universities in pursuing academic excellence and in making greater contributions to the advancement of science and technology and to the progress and betterment of mankind.”

The delegation in full

Russell Group Vice-Chancellors in the delegation:

  • Professor Sir David Greenaway, University of Nottingham and Chair of the Russell Group
  • Professor Sir David Eastwood, University of Birmingham
  • Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University
  • Professor Anton Muscatelli, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Patrick Johnston, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Michael Arthur, University CollegeLondon
  • Professor Stuart Croft, University of Warwick
  • Professor Koen Lamberts, University of York

A further six Russell Group universities were represented by Deputies from the University of Bristol, Kings College London, University of Leeds University of Manchester, University of Newcastle and Queen Mary University London.

The China 9 universities are:

  • Fudan University
  • Harbin Institute of Technology
  • Nanjing University
  • Peking University
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Tsinghua University
  • University of Science and Technology of China
  • Xi'an Jiaotong University
  • Zhejiang University

The full China 9 - Russell Group delegation, Shanghai, Nov 2016

First published: 8 November 2016