Chevening partners with N8 universities to expand opportunities for Chinese scholars

As part of its global scholarship scheme, Chevening has joined with the N8 Research Partnership to provide expanded opportunities for Chinese scholars to study in the north of England. The N8 Research Partnership is a consortium of universities, which aims to maximise impact, promote collaboration, establish innovative research capabilities and programmes, and drive economic growth. The collaboration includes Chevening Partners Durham University, Lancaster University, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool, Newcastle University, the University of Sheffield, and the University of York.

From 2017/2018, the N8 partner universities will be increasing the number of Chevening Scholarship places offered to Chinese students. Dr Peter Simpson, N8 Director, said this will offer significant opportunities for expanding international collaboration between China and northern England.

Dr Simpson added ‘We are delighted to be working with Chevening to create this innovative opportunity for collaborative academic activities with China. The N8 universities are international in outlook, host outstanding centres of knowledge, and are collaborative in nature, making the north of England an excellent location for advanced master’s-level study. Extensive business, as well as academic collaboration between the Northern Powerhouse region and China, has emerged in recent years. I look forward to welcoming new Chinese students to N8 universities through this programme.’

Finding success

To date, several Chinese scholars have chosen to study at an N8 university, studying everything from International Law to Autonomous Robotics Engineering, Economics and Finance, and Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Practice. However, scholars can pursue one-year master’s degrees in any subject, giving them hundreds of courses to choose from. Additionally, many of these universities belong to the prestigious Russell Group and regularly rank among the top universities in the UK, which are widely recognised and highly-regarded around the world.

Most importantly, many who have studied at N8 partner universities have since gone on to gain meaningful employment in their chosen fields. Chevening Alumnus Yonghong Zhang is an excellent example. After receiving his LLM from the University of Liverpool, he now works as a Senior Judge at the Shanghai High Court. Last year, Mr Zhang was recognised at the UK Alumni Awards for his positive contribution to his profession and community.

‘During my master’s, I conducted a comparative study on the enforcement of judgment between the UK and Chinese legal systems, which culminated in English Enforcement Law, the first Chinese book to outline the UK system to Chinese practitioners. Because of this, I was selected as a finalist for the Social Impact Award and was given royal treatment at the British Council’s first Education UK Alumni Awards ceremony in Shanghai China,’ said Mr Zhang.

Feels like home

However, in addition to strong academic and graduate employment records, the N8 universities are also attractive for their geographic location. The north of England is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and its world heritage sites.  Many of these cities are regularly voted as top visitor destinations, and are well connected via public transport and international airports.

Practically speaking, the cost of living is also much lower in these cities, allowing foreign currencies to go further. As a result, Chinese scholars can enjoy an affordable student experience, while still studying at high quality institutions. In general, expenses such as travel and rent are markedly lower than that found in London.

Many of these cities are also home to vibrant multicultural communities. Liverpool, for example, has the UK’s oldest Chinese population. To the east, Sheffield has responded to an increase in Chinese students by approving development plans for a £65m ‘Chinatown’, which will include an oriental cash and carry, food and drink outlets, student flats, and office space.

‘Liverpool is a twin city of Shanghai. Some of the buildings there are very similar to those in Shanghai. In fact, I often visited Chinatown whilst studying at the University of Liverpool,’ said Mr Zhang.

Applications for the 2017/2018 cycle close on 8 November. Visit www.chevening.org/china for information about how to apply.