Thirteen of the UK’s top universities, including Cranfield, and 23 universities from Jiangsu Province in China have formed a new consortium to train the next generation of global talent in environmental engineering, advanced manufacturing and the health care sciences - the UK-Jiangsu 20+20 World Class University Consortium.

The consortium will support knowledge exchange with industry in these fields through active collaboration that includes:

  • exchanges for academic staff, research fellows and students;
  • international research cooperation with a focus on developing early career research fellows;
  • on-line course platforms and promoting China-UK cooperative education;
  • developing international industry-university collaborations and supporting research commercialisation in Jiangsu and the UK; and
  • strengthening co-operation with local and regional governments, technology parks, innovative enterprises and venture capitalists to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in different disciplines.

Speaking from the first annual general meeting of the consortium in Jiangsu, Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at Cranfield, said: "The consortium will develop next generation talent in these three highly applied fields, areas that have expression in the regional economies of the UK and Jiangsu. Cranfield will contribute our expertise in advanced manufacturing and environmental engineering. We are already hosting staff and students from the Province and look forward to playing a full role in the consortium”.

Notes for editors

The Consortium, established in 2016 and spearheaded by the British Council and Universities UK International (UUKi), has since seen a rapid expansion in the number of UK universities partnering with Chinese universities in Jiangsu. As China’s second largest province by GDP, the provincial government has already committed £40 million in funds to support international partnership agreements.

Of these, the Jiangsu-UK 20+20 World-Class University Consortium is by far the most significant grouping, with substantial investments from the local government in professional training for university leaders, as well as exchange programmes for lecturers, researchers and doctoral students.