Recently, a delegation of 20 UK university presidents, vice presidents and other leaders embarked on their visit to China in 2023. On the morning of September 22, representatives from Keele University, Cardiff University, University of Exeter, and University of Sussex arrived in Chengdu to host the UK-Chengdu-Chongqing Higher Education Roundtable with universities from Chengdu and Chongqing. The conference focused on the "Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle—China-UK Higher Education Partnership Support Plan", with in-depth discussions on the topics of regional policies, international education, two-way mobility, and the development of career prospects. Wang Qingyuan, President of Chengdu University (CDU), was invited to attend the conference and deliver a keynote speech.
Wang delivered a keynote speech on "Two-way Mobility of Higher Education between China and the UK: Values, Challenges and Future Prospects". He first introduced the development status of CDU, especially the university's rapid development and its vision and path towards internationalization in recent years. He emphasized that the profound integration of Chengdu and Chongqing into the process of globalization has made the opening-up of higher education a crucial means to promote regional economic and social development. CDU has played an active role in promoting international exchanges and cooperation, and has successfully strengthened scientific research and innovation capabilities, enhanced international exchanges among teachers and students and improved the quality of talent training and social service capabilities by introducing high-quality educational resources. He emphasized the significance of China-UK higher education cooperation. The two-way exchanges of teachers and students can not only improve the internationalization of both universities but also promote the high-quality advancement of higher education in both countries. The exchanges can also strengthen the bonds between people and enhance the friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries. China and the UK play significant roles in the global higher education landscape, and strengthening cooperation can jointly promote the development of global higher education. He believes that given the new challenges confronting global higher education, there is a need to further explore the cooperation model between China and the UK. Looking ahead, CDU will further enhance its cooperation and exchanges with internationally renowned universities in the UK, enhance the two-way mobility of teachers and students by broadening the scope of cooperation and introducing innovative models of cooperation. These endeavors aim to facilitate educational and scientific research partnerships, as well as foster cultural exchanges between both parties.
Participants also had lively discussions on specific cooperation projects, such as joint scientific research projects, faculty exchange visits, and student exchange activities. The implementation of these projects will not only help to improve the quality of higher education in the UK and China, including Sichuan and Chongqing but also open new paths for promoting educational exchanges and cooperation between the two nations. Leaders of nine universities in Sichuan and Chongqing expressed their intention to seize this opportunity to enhance cooperation with higher education institutions in the UK and collectively improve the quality and global impact of education.