China Network Society

China Network Society looks to improve class participation of Chinese students and promote Chinese culture at UCL

23 May 2014

China launch event

The MSc Management at University College London launched its first ever China Network Society (CNS) last week as its director Dr Marco Aponte-Moreno looks to boost class participation of the programme's largest international student group.

Students from China face challenges in adapting to UK classroom practices and participation expectations. Dr Aponte-Moreno, programme director and founder of the network, believes that this society will contribute to better involve the students in their education to overcome these challenges.

 “One of the main functions of the network is to solve Chinese students issues at UCL through collective efforts,” said Aponte-Moreno. "The group will look at specific cultural-related issues encountered by Chinese students and serve as a forum to raise debates, submit recommendations, and find solutions".

This year, almost 50% of MSc Management applications have come from China. Despite high numbers and intense competition to enter the programme, Chinese students are still not performing as well as expected. According to Dr Aponte-Moreno, this might be due to poor results in class participation assessments, related to cultural issues.

 Vincent Fan, the deputy manager of China Daily European Weekly, who attended the society’s launch event, says that there are culture reasons and attitudes behind the challenges encountered by Chinese students. He believes students should work harder on critical thinking skills and English proficiency in order to adapt to the global environment in London.

The network also seeks to encourage social, cultural and intellectual interactions with alumni, promote Chinese culture among non-Chinese students, and prepare students for future careers. 

Yunzi Huang, 23, a current MSc Management student from China and one of the organizing members, says the China Network Society could serve as a cross-culture communication and development platform among Chinese and non-Chinese students.

 One of our plans is to arrange voluntary English teaching opportunities for students in some Chinese rural areas. I believe this offers substantial benefits for both sides: Western students could get first-hand cultural experience in China, and Chinese children learning English could receive better educational resources from native English speakers," she says. 

Finally, job fairs and employer events to arrange employment opportunities for UCL graduates who are interested in Chinese markets are also on the China Network Society’s future plans.

Natasha Weller, the careers consultant at UCL says the launch was a great success. Having been helping students’ career developments for years, she believes Chinese students have valuable skill-sets to fulfill their global ambitions given they work harder to bridge certain skill gaps like understanding of English workplace culture.