Posted 8 May 2012
Harper Adams has a long and successful track record of working with our partners in China, and we welcome the opportunity to extend our collaborative arrangements, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, with two very highly respected agricultural universities."
The Principal, Professor Brian Revell and members of staff at Beijing Agricultural University
The Principal, Dr David Llewellyn, and other staff of the University College, were in China last week to progress discussions with a number of leading Chinese universities.
The visit provided an opportunity for the Principal to meet with the President of Beijing Agricultural University (BAU), Professor Wang Huimin, to discuss the joint degree programmes that have been operating at Harper Adams since 2004, in which around 80 final year students study annually at the University College.
This successful collaboration was also celebrated in a reception for alumni. The Principal gave a presentation to first year students on life at Harper Adams, and another at the annual meeting with second year students to assist their transition to the UK later this year and to answer questions from parents who attended this session.
Further meetings with students at BAU were conducted by Rebecca Freer, Student Services Manager, and Ben Harper, Sports and Social Clubs Coordinator to explain about accommodation arrangements and social life on the University College's campus. For the first time, staff were joined by two final year UK students who will become student wardens in 2012/13, to enable them to learn more about university life in China to assist them in their work next year guiding and supporting students in residence on the Harper Adams campus.
The Principal then travelled to Wuhan, in central China, to visit Huazhong Agricultural University. A new collaborative agreement for a joint undergraduate course was agreed, and was signed later in the week by the Principal and by the President of Huazhong, Professor Deng Xiuxin at a meeting in Beijing.
Huazhong is the third highest rated agricultural university in China and has considerable strengths in research. The visit coincided with the news that a research team led by Professor Deng had just completed the genome sequence for the sweet orange, the first sequence of a citrus fruit successfully completed in China.
Whilst the Principal was in Wuhan, Professor Brian Revell, Director of International Policy, travelled to Henan Agricultural University in Zhengzhou, to continue discussions on postgraduate collaboration that will be followed up later in the year.
Back in Beijing, the Principal met with Professor Wang Tao, Vice President for International Affairs together with a number of his colleagues at China Agricultural University (CAU) to progress discussions on a joint Masters programme in agricultural engineering.
CAU is the premier agricultural university in China and a leading institution in the Chinese university system, with particular strengths in engineering. Professor Wang and a party of staff from CAU are expected to visit Harper Adams in early May to work further on the details of the collaboration and to hear more about the recently launched Soil and Water Management Centre and National Centre for Precision Farming initiatives at Harper Adams.
Commenting on the visit, Dr Llewellyn noted the warm welcome he had received from all of the institutions that had been visited, adding that, 'We must all work to ensure that advances in science and technology are applied to the challenge of global food security, and we must think and act internationally to achieve this objective.
"Harper Adams has a long and successful track record of working with our partners in China, and we welcome the opportunity to extend our collaborative arrangements, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, with two very highly respected agricultural universities.