China-UK research boost

April 7, 2006

More Chinese researchers will be funded to carry out work in British universities under a deal struck by ministers this week.

The Scholarships for Excellence programme is being expanded to provide funding for 50 Chinese PhDs and postdoctoral researchers next year, as the result of an agreement reached by British and Chinese ministers at the second UK-China Education summit in London on Tuesday.

Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Edinburgh and Nottingham universities are involved in the Scholarships for Excellence programme, which was set up in 2005 with funding for 20 researchers.

Ministers also agreed a new programme to enable about 1,000 Chinese graduates to gain experience working with British businesses for up to 12 months. A number of universities are interested in offering courses to help Chinese graduates seeking work placements under the Graduate Work Experience Programme.

The mutual recognition of academic qualifications was one of the matters discussed by ministers at the summit, as was the possibility of co-operation on language teaching and area studies.

Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister, said: "We have committed our countries to working closely to plan the next phase of our relationship.

This will include exchanging our shared experience as we develop strategies in lifelong learning and skills, and the promotion of language teaching, as well as the study of each other's culture and societies."

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