UCL launches UK-China Infrastructure Academy
5 December 2016
UCL and the UK government launched today the UK-China Infrastructure Academy, a major new initiative to help train Chinese companies and officials on investment processes in the UK and to encourage greater Chinese investment in UK infrastructure projects.
The Academy will be delivered by the UCL Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management and will provide executive training programmes to senior business executives and policymakers.
The launch highlights UCL's commitment to intensifying its global engagement and using its world-class research and teaching expertise for wider international benefit, and builds on the university's growing links with China.
Infrastructure is a sector with huge potential for UK companies and Chinese investors, with major infrastructure programmes planned in both countries. The UK is already one of the top destinations for Chinese investment in Europe, with £4 billion invested in UK infrastructure and regeneration since 2012.
The Academy will form a key pillar of the UK-China Infrastructure Alliance, announced during the 2015 UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue as a key platform to enhance UK-China commercial cooperation in infrastructure in each other's markets and in third markets.
The launch event on Monday will include keynote speeches from Andrew Percy MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, and Vice Chairman Lin Nianxiu of China's National Development and Reform Commission (China's macro-planning ministry), and be attended by the first cohort of 30 Chinese executives and government officials.
The UCL team will be led by Academic Director Dr. Chen-Yu Chang, in partnership with leading banks and professional services companies including HSBC and KPMG, law firms CMS, Ashurst and Hogan Lovells, as well as engineering firms Arup and AECOM.
The launch of the Academy builds on UCL's ties with China, which are growing in a number of key areas. In November, UCL reinforced its key strategic partnership with Peking University (PKU), with an agreement to jointly deliver an MBA programme at PKU's campus in Beijing.
Professor Michael Arthur, UCL's President & Provost, said: "The launch of the UK-China Infrastructure Academy is an exciting opportunity for UCL to use its considerable expertise to help Britain and China to expand their investment in infrastructure. UCL is redoubling its efforts to work collaboratively with global partners to address pressing challenges and leading this initiative exemplifies our commitment to using our knowledge innovatively for wider social and economic benefit."
Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: "I am delighted to launch this new Academy - an important stepping stone in this golden era of UK China relations. Chinese companies will benefit from greater support to invest in the Northern Powerhouse and across the UK, helping create more jobs and boosting economic growth. In the last year alone, foreign direct investment into the Northern Powerhouse grew at twice the national average and this new Academy will help build on this success."
Dame Barbara Woodward DCMG OBE, British Ambassador to China, said: "The success of the Academy is vital to the overall work of the UK-China Infrastructure Alliance, which has senior-level sponsorship from the Chancellor and Chairman Xu of the National Development and Reform Commission. I am confident that UCL is in a strong position to deliver and, as one of the world?s premier universities, also contribute to the prestige and credibility of the Academy."