£100,000 donation for cultural exchange
13 June 2011
The Hengyi group recognises the contribution the joint degree programme of BUA and Harper Adams is making to the educational and cultural development of its future senior managers and now wishes to enable a greater degree of cultural exchange between the two universities to flourish."
MONDAY - SHARING BIG IDEAS
Harper Adams University College is delighted to be able to start Universities Week 2011 with the great news of a forthcoming five-year cultural exchange programme.
The University College will be strengthening its ties with the staff and students of Beijing University of Agriculture (BUA), thanks to a generous financial gift from one of China’s largest suppliers of textile polymer fibres, the Zhejiang Hengyi Group Co.
The company has donated £100,000 to establish The Hengyi Fund for International Cultural Exchange, and has signed a Memorandum of Co-operation with Harper Adams and BUA outlining a series of objectives with specific initiatives “to enhance intercultural understanding and harmony between the UK and China”.
Brian Revell, Director of International Policy at Harper Adams, said: “Both ourselves and BUA have specialist interests in agriculture and its related disciplines, food science and technology, and agri-business management. Together, we have been running joint undergraduate degrees in which Chinese undergraduates complete their studies here in the UK for seven years.
“While these programmes bring Chinese students into contact with those from the UK and enable them to gain first-hand experience of UK academic and national culture, opportunities for UK students to benefit from a reciprocal experience of Chinese culture have, until now, been more limited.
“The Hengyi group, which is one of the top 500 Chinese companies, has been engaged for some time in supporting higher education in China. It recognises the contribution the joint degree programme of BUA and Harper Adams is making to the educational and cultural development of its future senior managers and now wishes to enable a greater degree of cultural exchange between the two universities to flourish.
“We are extremely grateful to the Hengyi Group for its generous donation, the value of which will increase, thanks to the Higher Education Funding Council for England Matched Funding Scheme for Voluntary Giving, and look forward to working with our two partners to develop a programme of actions and activities for UK and Chinese students.”
Initiatives in the pipeline include visits for Harper Adams students to BUA and other parts of China; sponsored prizes for BUA students who have made the “greatest contributions to cultural integration and awareness” on the Harper Adams campus; opportunities for selected UK and Chinese students to undertake work placements or internships at Hengyi; the possible creation of a Confucius Institute on the Harper Adams campus to support and promote learning of Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture; and a reciprocal biennial exchange visit of student leaders from both campuses to ensure that both student bodies understand their respective cultural backgrounds and accordingly ensure that there is appropriate provision of student led activities, clubs and societies at both institutions.