Distinguished guests presented include Mr. Matthew Knowles, Area Director East China at British Council; Mr. Simon Steward Director for Education, Training and Talent Development at CBBC; Mr. Phil Roebuck, Executive Director from British Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Michael Brennan, COO Global Banking at HSBC China; Mr. Mark Mallon, Exec. VP Intl at AstraZeneca; Mr. Xiwen Zeng, Snr. VP Corporate Affairs at Unilever North Asia; and Prof. Jian Liang and Ms. Liyun Gao, Manchester/SJTU DBA office from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
A formal ribbon- cutting ceremony was hosted in front of VIP guests, attending alumni and student representatives. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Mr. Matt Knowles, Professor Fiona Divine, Professor Elaine Ferneley and Ms. Sherry Fu jointly marked the historical moment.
In 2008, Manchester Business School opened its China Centre in Shanghai, bringing world-class British business education to China. Since then, a strong and long-term commitment to China has been consistently demonstrated. In addition to the star programme – Manchester Global MBA, partnerships have established respectively between MBS and Shanghai Tong Ji University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Renmin University of China respectively to offer international business education that is highly relevant to local businesses. On both corporate front and cultural level, China Centre has been forming strategic Talent Management Partnerships with top multinational companies including AstraZeneca, Deloitte, Huawei, FESCOAdecco, Unilever and CIMA etc. to make top business education more accessible and tailored as well as to promote Sino-British education links.
On the 8th year of the China Centre, the Centre’s name-change to UoM China Centre marks the University’s long term commitment and vision for China; as well as recognizes the achievement that China Centre has made till date. More plans for further Research and Development and international exchanges will roll out gradually as the new Centre takes on greater challenges. UoM China Centre Director Ms. Sherry Fu warmly welcomed the attending VIP guests to celebrating the inauguration of the new Centre.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell reiterated the openness of Manchester as a city and as a University that welcomes Chinese and other international students. She also shared recent updates from Manchester with remarkable commitments in infrastructure and software in order to provide the best learning and research environment. “The new role of China Centre will drive forward progress in research, education and business to benefit both the UK and Chinese people.”
At the ceremony, Sherry traced back the development history of China Centre and expressed great appreciation to guests from corporate partners and alumni; with whom China Centre has closely worked with to accelerate Manchester’s brand value of bringing global education to China. ‘Officially from today, as The University of Manchester China Centre, we will endeavor in strengthening corporation with both local schools and corporate partners. We are greatly motivated by the prospect that comes with the expansion of responsibilities and expectations.’ said Sherry.
Prof. Fiona Devine extended gratitude to our long-term academic and corporate partners. She proudly addressed the guests that from Manchester Business School China Centre to The University of Manchester China Centre, the Centre has achieved remarkable milestones and there would be many great opportunities and challenges facing the re-named and re-positioned Centre. “Becoming the University of Manchester China Centre will enable us to build on the excellent work of the Sherry and the team, to further strengthen the University’s relationship with the city of Shanghai and right across the region.” Said Professor Devine.
Mr. Matthew Knowles congratulated China Centre for achievements to date and the exciting inauguration as UoM’s official overseas centre. He stressed that as one of earliest UK education institutions establishing office in China, Manchester has been pioneering on the research, commercial and cultural exchange fronts. Projects with Chinese companies and institutions have been remarkable examples promoting Sino-British relations.
Alumni representatives also shared thoughts and opinions on the transformational journey that Manchester MBA programmes had brought to them. ‘Regardless of the industry background, we have been benefitted from Manchester’s business education, which has equipped us with solid knowledge and management skills to compete in the changing global environment,’ thoughts expressively shared by Mr. Kevin Ren, former Chair of Manchester Business School Alumni Association Shanghai and DBA alumnus Mr. Tom Yu.
Along with UoM China Centre’s inauguration, The University of Manchester Alumni Association Shanghai under the Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association is officially set up. The first council members include Colin Lin, Timo Lei, Jenifer Wang, Ben Zhang and Sherry Fu.
The whole event was a celebration of eight years of China Centre’s step-by-step growth journey – from enrollment of students’ for first intake in 2009 to having over 1000 alumni and current Global MBA students. Shared by every guest at the event was the belief that ‘the best is yet to come’ for the Centre and for the students and partners that the Centre works so closely with!