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Largest UK-Chinese academy agreement signed: Reading-Nanjing partnership extended to offer UK degree places to Chinese students – University of Reading

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Largest UK-Chinese academy agreement signed: Reading-Nanjing partnership extended to offer UK degree places to Chinese students

Release Date 12 September 2016

Reading academy at NUIST

One thousand Chinese students will be able to study in Nanjing towards a University of Reading degree by 2020, under a new deal signed today.

The University of Reading and the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST) have signed an agreement to expand courses available at the NUIST-Reading Academy based in Nanjing, China. The academy enables Chinese students to work towards one of six accredited UK degrees in their home country over three years and then complete their degree at Reading.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, signed the new deal that will see courses being taught in Mathematics and Environmental Engineering starting in 2016. The additional courses will provide 80 extra places at the Reading-NUIST college and will increase the overall yearly intake to more than 300 students each year.

The expansion of the Reading-NUIST academy was supported by the Ministry of Education and also creates opportunities for postgraduate study in Nanjing. The partnership will allow for academic exchange between Reading and Nanjing, with students being able to take full or part of their postgraduate course in either institution.

Sir David said:

“As a university with a global outlook, keen to secure exciting new partnerships, this agreement is another step in strengthening Reading's impact in Asia. Our work with NUIST allows us to take our best courses to a part of the world where there is real demand for UK degrees.

“Education is central to the UK and China’s close relations. The future prosperity of both our countries will depend on research, innovation and skills if we are to succeed as first-rate, knowledge economies.

“The rankings show that China’s universities are rising quickly, thanks to the excellence of their academics and researchers. Reading has world-class researchers and teachers too so, together, we can be stronger.


Honorary degree for BIT President

On Friday, Sir David conferred an honorary degree on Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) President Hu Haiyan. Sir David also met some of the 170 students studying for a Reading degree in Accountancy at BIT.

Sir David added:

“China is the fastest growing education system in the world. It is projected to produce more graduates than the US and EU put together by 2020. The UK already welcomes thousands of Chinese students and academics every year so there is no limit to our potential work together.

“The University of Reading already has more than 700 Chinese students studying in the UK, with numbers growing substantially in the last four years. I want that trend to continue. We will be looking to build on our relationships with our 38 partners here in China, as well as the work we do through six strategic partnership. I am delighted that NUIST has become a partner of strategic importance in helping us to achieve this aim.

“Overseas students make a huge contribution to the UK - boosting the local economy, enhancing our cultural life and broadening the experience of UK students with whom they study. Equally, I am delighted that our students have opportunities to study in Asia, giving them a fully rounded global education.


"Game-changing opportunity"

Vincenzo Raimo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, said:

"The joint Academy with NUIST is a potentially game-changing opportunity for Reading.

"NUIST is part of our strategy to develop and grow our global reach. By the end of the decade, nearly a quarter of our total student population will be studying at Reading campuses outside the UK, in China, Malaysia, South Africa and elsewhere in the world."

Earlier this year in February (2016), the University of Reading opened its first multidisciplinary overseas campus in Malaysia. This is the University's fifth campus, alongside the Whiteknights and London Road campuses in Reading, and the Henley Business School sites in Henley and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The first courses offered in the new campus in Malaysia included business, psychology, law, real estate, surveying and pharmacy. Over the next five years, the target is to grow the campus to 3,000 students.

In addition to the undergraduate courses being offered, there is a range of postgraduate programmes, including the Henley Business School MBA, which will launch later this year.


Courses on offer

The Reading-NUIST college will offer the following six undergraduate courses (courses with asterisks starting this month, the two in italics signed into agreement in September 2016) with students completing 3 years at NUIST before spending a year completing their degree in Reading):

Applied Chemistry



Environmental Engineering* 

Atmospheric Sciences

Applied English Linguistics

The courses are taught in English and the degrees are fully awarded by the University of Reading.

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