On September 14, Dame Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to China, visited Shandong University (SDU) and gave a lecture at the "Great Master Forum". Fan Liming, SDU President met with Dame Woodward, and Vice President Cheng Lin attended related activities.
During the meeting with Dame Woodward, President Fan introduced the history, academic characteristics, and recent developments of Shandong University as well as its initiatives in education, culture, health, and other fields that serve Shandong Province. Fan stated that SDU attaches great importance to its exchanges and cooperation with the United Kingdom, and has close partnerships with the University of London, the University of Reading and the British Library in the fields of humanities and social sciences, including archaeology, and the Global Integration of Chinese Ancient Books Program. With over 20 well-known universities in the UK, including the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University of Manchester and the University of Bath, SDU has carried out multi-level and multi-field collaborations, such as student and scholar exchanges, joint training programs for students and cooperative scientific research. Fan also expressed her hope that Ambassador Dame Woodward would continue to support communications between SDU and British universities; more British students and scholars are welcome to study and develop academic exchanges at SDU.
As a response, Dame Woodward affirmed the close cooperation between students and scholars from SDU and British universities in their exchanges and cooperative scientific research. She hopes that the upcoming series of events called "UK Season in Shandong", which will be held in Jinan, will provide more opportunities for SDU students to learn about the UK in many ways. She said that she will support Chinese and British universities in deepening cooperation in the fields of education, innovation and high-end technology, and she looks forward to practical cooperation between the two countries under the support of the three pillars of governmental, commercial, and cultural exchanges, in which educational cooperation plays an important role. To achieve this, she highlighted the need for universities to focus on preparing students for the challenges of future society.
After the meeting, Dame Woodward gave a speech named "The World in 2018 and UK-China Relations" at the "Great Master Forum". Starting from the statement that UK-China relations entering the "golden period", she mentioned that the UK and China have established a tripartite support system involving governmental, commercial and cultural cooperation. The report focused on the positive factors and challenges facing the international community and concluded that China and Britain need to continue to strengthen the already-established good foundation for cooperation, adapt to the new international situation, face global challenges and opportunities together, and encourage young students to prepare for the challenges ahead. In the end, Dame Woodward exchanged views with SDU teachers and students on the role of Confucius Institutes in cultural communication between China and the UK, and on the specific preparations the younger generations need to make to cope with global changes.
After the report, Chris Boobier, Director of the Chevening Scholarship, introduced the Chevening Scholarships from the UK government and the corresponding application methods. Officials in charge of the SDU Qingdao Campus, the Department of International Affairs, and the School of Innovation and Change attended the related activities.
Dame Barbara Woodward has served as the British ambassador to China since February 2015. Previously, she served in China, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations as Director General of Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Economic and Global Issues).
Translated by: Zhang Kaige
Edited by: Matthew Lane, Zhang Xinyuan