generation uk

23/10/2013 - 17:21

Eleven institutions across the UK will host a series of events designed to showcase to students opportunities to study or gain work experience in China, with advice on what scholarships are available to spend up to a year abroad.

The British Council is organising the event as part of its new Generation UK campaign, launched in the summer with support from the UK and Chinese governments and included the University of Edinburgh in its national road show taking place across the UK this autumn.

Generation UK aims to see at least 15,000 UK students participate in academic study or work experience programmes in China by 2016 – the year that China is forecast to overtake the USA and become the world’s biggest economy. Business leaders in the UK have increasingly emphasised the importance of the UK’s young people having a better understanding of 4 China, and the value of international skills and understanding when they look to recruit. Currently, almost 79,000 Chinese students are studying at higher education institutions in the UK, but less than 5,000 British students are believed to have studied in China last year.

National roadshow for students in October-November 2013 

Student workshops will take place at Glasgow Caledonian, Edinburgh, Salford, Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham Trent, Birmingham, Cardiff, Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast, with the aim to further raise awareness among students of the opportunities being made available through the campaign and reinforce the potential benefits that gaining experience in China offers for UK students. The tour will conclude at South Bank University in London on 4 November with a special session including representatives from the Chinese Embassy, and a mini-exhibition of fifteen Chinese institutions, with representatives present to talk directly with interested students.

The sessions across the UK will include details about the academic scholarships and funded internships available through the Generation UK scheme and will also include a short talk on international experience from people who have already experienced study or work in China.

Jazreel Goh, Director of Education Marketing at the British Council in China said, “We are really pleased to come to the UK. The British Council’s ultimate goal with Generation UK is to create a new generation of more globally, culturally and business aware young people. There is no better way to build trust and understanding than through experiencing education in another country, but UK students have to get out into the world if they want the best jobs and opportunities, they can’t wait for the world to come to them. “

For the next academic year, there are plans to support even more UK students to study in China. As well as a national scholarship, allowing for study at any mainland Chinese university for one semester to a full academic year, Generation UK will also provide municipal and provincial level scholarships in 2014/15.

Scholarship and internship opportunities

The ‘British Council – Tianjin Scholarship’ marked the first jointly funded scholarship of Generation UK, which the British Council established last month with the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission. Another jointly funded scholarship agreement was signed with the Shandong Provincial Education Department this month and the British Council in China are in discussion with several other municipal and provincial level governments with the aim of creating more scholarships for 2014/15. 

As well as offering scholarships for academic study, an internship programme also forms part of Generation UK’s opportunities in China. Applications for the internship programme opened earlier last August, which provides funding for UK students to undertake two-month work placements in six mainland Chinese cities. The first student on this programme began his placement earlier this month and more students will be following suit throughout the year.

As well as being supported by universities across the UK, Generation UK has been very positively received by the Chinese government since its official launch in June this year. Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, praised the campaign earlier this summer for supporting the future development of UK-China relations.