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St Mary's University and China's Sichuan University Agree Formal Partnership

St Mary’s University, Twickenham has entered into a formal partnership with Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s Francis Campbell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during a visit to Sichuan University on Wednesday (6th July) where he also gave a speech to staff and students on globalisation and diplomacy. Sichuan University is one of the top-ranked universities in China with a student body totalling approximately 60,000. It is one of 75 prestigious institutions under the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Education and one of the top 6% of Chinese universities designated ‘Project 211’ institutions by the Ministry of Education due to their certain scientific, technical and human resource standards and advanced degree programmes. The partnership agreement between the two universities sets out future plans for collaboration on academic programmes; research activities, and student and staff exchange programmes. The collaboration also includes an academic partnership with Sichuan International Studies University (SISU), a leading international university in Chongqing. In a first for the UK, SISU and St Mary’s University will develop a unique country to country Masters programme in pedagogy for Chinese Maths graduates who will also teach Mandarin in London schools. The project has secured funding from the highly competitive UK-China Partnerships Innovation Challenge Fund which provided seed funding for developing the collaborative project. The project has also attracted support from China’s Ministry of Education in building bridges between the two countries to exchange pedagogy and teacher training methodology. The funding enabled a team from the Education School, St Mary’s University to visit schools and meet with local Education Commissions in Chongqing and Neijiang to explore local teacher training requirements. Francis Campbell said, “Today’s agreement with Sichuan University marks the start of a partnership which will be of enormous benefit to both institutions. It will raise the international profile of St Mary’s University in China and elsewhere and will provide important links to London for Sichuan University and its students. St Mary’s is proud of its international outlook and is determined to look to the wider world. We very much look forward to welcoming a greater number of Chinese students to our campus in the near future.” Francis Campbell was invited to give a formal lecture to Sichuan University staff and students following a successful first visit to China in April. 2016. This included a series of high-level meetings with the Ministry of Education and National Academy for Education Administration (the training academy for China’s university leadership).

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