Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith met with China Scholarship Council Secretary General Dr Liu Jinghui in Beijing.

Exeter partners with Chinese government to offer PhD scholarships

The University of Exeter has agreed to sign an agreement with the Chinese government that will see hundreds of China's best students study in Devon and Cornwall over the next decade and beyond.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith met with China Scholarship Council Secretary General Dr Liu Jinghui in Beijing on 18 November to agree the deal. The two institutions will offer joint scholarships to students who wish to conduct PhD research at the University of Exeter.

The China Scholarship Council is a branch of the Chinese government with responsibility for student mobility. It supports the living costs of Chinese students studying at leading universities around the world. Under the deal, Exeter will waive the fees of at least ten PhDs per year initially, and will look to expand the scheme across all of its academic Colleges in the future.

Exeter is host to more than 1,200 students from mainland China already. While Exeter’s taught programmes have been popular with Chinese students for many years, the decision by the University and the China Scholarship Council to offer joint scholarships is part of an effort to encourage China’s finest postgraduate students to conduct research at the University.

Professor Sir Steve Smith said, “I am delighted to formalise an arrangement between the University of Exeter and the China Scholarship Council. It will result in some of China’s best students studying at one of the best universities in the UK. This initiative is a win-win for both countries. The links forged in the next few years will benefit Exeter, its partner universities in China and relations between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China as these graduates assume positions of influence in the future."

Secretary General of the China Scholarship Council Dr Liu Jinghui said at the November meeting: “this PhD level cooperation will serve to match quality with quality. Exeter should use its strong links with some of China’s best institutions and use funding from the China Scholarship Council to attract talented research students”.

The University of Exeter has developed strong partnerships with some of the very best Chinese universities in recent years. In Beijing it has been working with Tsinghua University since 2010; there are more than 20 substantial collaborations between researchers at Exeter and Tsinghua. It has a deep and broad relationship with Fudan University in Shanghai, with research engagement spanning science, social sciences and the humanities. The China Scholarship Council awarded full support to a student from Peking University – Han Yawei - who is studying currently in Exeter’s College of Humanities.

The signing of an agreement between the University of Exeter and the China Scholarship Council will increase significantly the number of students who are supported by the two institutions.

Date: 25 November 2016

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