UCL-China Research Festival
18 June 2008
Over 320 people attended the UCL-China Research Festival, a showcase of the variety and volume of the university's research collaborations with Chinese institutions held at UCL last week.
Academics, students, businesspeople and members of the public were treated to a total of nearly 30 presentations and poster displays on architecture and urban planning; biomaterials; archaeology and traditional medicine; medicine; psychology and social science; mapping; the environment; and chemistry and space.
UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant opened the event in the Gustav Tuck Lecture Theatre. He noted that a meaningful relationship with China is of paramount importance to UCL, given its position as London's global university. The day closed with a celebratory dinner for 70 guests including senior Chinese embassy officials, UK government representatives, corporate executives, and research council members.
The festival was organised by Professor Moira Yip, Pro-Provost for China, Hong Kong and Macau. She said: "UCL takes seriously the global context in which leading universities now operate. In the 21st century, we have a responsibility as global citizens to tackle issues that transcend national boundaries. China is putting major resources into its higher education institutions and research laboratories, and the quality of its research is improving at an astonishing rate. There are five Chinese universities in the global top 100 for science, and the country is producing world-class research in new areas such as materials science and nanotechnology.
"The speed of this change creates the perfect opportunity to set up partnerships with our Chinese counterparts. UCL has already established strong links with China in areas such as biomaterials and sustainability, where we lead several UK-China research networks. We are working with Chinese colleagues on the Dongtan eco-city near Shanghai, and we have recently been in conversations with the Embassy in connection with the Sichuan earthquake. These are just two of many examples of research that has the potential to improve the lives of people both in the UK and in China.
"In partnership with the UK government, the China Scholarship Council, and generous alumni-funded scholarships, UCL also provides funding for a growing number of Chinese PhD students, post-docs, and, as of next year, for visiting PhD students. Several of our academic staff have appointments at major Chinese universities, and visit regularly. Each year, UCL researchers take up post-docs or visiting research appointments in China.
"UCL is the only UK university to have a Pro-Provost for China, with a brief that includes encouraging collaboration, increasing awareness of opportunities in China, and building long-term links. This conference is a celebration of what we hope are only the first of those links."
To find out more about the festival and UCL's links with China, follow the links at the top of this article.
Image 1: The festival logo
Image 2: Professor Alan Penn delivers the plenary session on city history and multi-scale spatial master-planning
Image 3: Professor Moira Yip, Pro-Provost for China, greets Dr Haitao Ye of the London Centre for Nanotechnology
Image 4: Networking during the festival