March 24, 2004
Go east, professor!

A British University is going to set up shop in China:

The University of Nottingham is to open a campus in China.

This £40m project, agreed with the Chinese education authorities, will be the first time a UK university has opened a purpose-built campus in China.

The first Chinese students are expected to start courses in September - with the start-up academic staff being deployed from the UK.

The university says "internationalisation" is an important part of higher education's future.

And so do I. After all, what with cheap international phone calls, and email, the internet, etc., it has suddenly become a whole lot easier to organise this kind of operation.

Any, er, problems?

Addressing human rights concerns, the university says: "We shall extend to our China campus our approach of working with Chinese institutions, presenting students with a balanced viewpoint, and teaching in different ways (with more independent thinking).

"We think this will go well with reform and modernisation in China itself."

Fingers crossed, in other words.

The boss of the China operation is a revealing choice.

The vice-president of the Ningbo campus will be Professor Ian Gow, formerly director of Nottingham University Business School.

It figures. These days, the business of China is business.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:26 PM
Category: Higher education