"Over the last 20 years Staffordshire University has worked with a number of partners in China to create exciting opportunities for thousands of learners, and this event has provided our graduates, past and present, the ideal platform to connect with us and each other.”
Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Gunn
Staffordshire University has marked 20 years’ of collaboration with partner institutions in China with the first reunion of its Chinese graduates at a special ceremony in Shanghai.
Organised by Staffordshire University’s Chinese Alumni Association, which was established in October 2012 with the opening of the University’s China Centre in Suzhou, the event reunited 165 graduates in celebration of Staffordshire University’s commitment to education in China over the last two decades.
Joining the activities were Education Marketing Manager from the British Council, Ms Isabel Xu, Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Gunn, Director of Partnerships, Chris Slade, Head of International Partnerships, Dr Lee Zhuang, and Dr Wyn Jenkins, a former lecturer in Staffordshire University’s Business School, who taught at least a quarter of the attending graduates.
Opening the event Professor Michael Gunn said: “Our international partnerships are crucial to the future success of Staffordshire University as they provide the opportunity for students in many countries in the world to study for Staffordshire University awards.
“Over the last 20 years Staffordshire University has worked with a number of partners in China to create exciting opportunities for thousands of learners, and this event has provided our graduates, past and present, the ideal platform to connect with us and each other.”
After securing its first Chinese partner, Foshan University, in 1993, Staffordshire University has expanded its partners to include the Western Management Institute of Beijing (WMIB), STMC, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT) and the Global Institute of Technology (GIST).
During the event, BA (Hons) Business Administration graduate Zhenjia Ni, was awarded the Staffordshire University Centenary Scholarship, worth £3000, in honour of Harry Liu, the first President of Staffordshire University’s China Centre.
“The learning experience really developed my personal abilities, improved my confidence and broadened my social network.” Zhenjia added, “I truly felt at home that evening, not just because I won the top prize, but more importantly, because Staffordshire University showed they had not forgotten us. It was really an unforgettable evening.”
Dr Lee Zhuang described the reunion as a proud moment as he reflected on his own 20 year association with Staffordshire University.
He said: “It was a truly remarkable night for everyone involved and personally it provided me the chance to reunite with graduates who I’ve met during my time at Staffordshire University.
“The night was made complete when graduate Mr MA Wenying made a surprise appearance on stage to offer twenty job opportunities to our alumni. This generous act highlighted the significance and potential of Staffordshire University’s (SU) Chinese Alumni Association to not only to our graduates but to the University as a whole.”
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