Rick Trainor (seen here), Principal of King’s College London and President of Universities UK, which represents the heads of all the UK’s universities, believes that higher education exchanges are increasing and should be further increased to benefit students of both countries.
Not opposing Mr Trainor’s view but it would be fair to say there are grave doubts in the UK at the moment of the quality and the intent of many visiting students. China is seen as a minor offender in this regard but there is still a strong feeling that many of the students arriving could not pass a simple test in English. And there are widely published newspaper articles doubting their reasons for having their education in the UK.
Mr. Trainor made his fourth visit to Beijing to sign agreements with the China Scholarship Counsel and with Renmin University to facilitate exchanges of students and academics between the two countries.
We are told Professor Trainor himself is a good example of gaining benefits of having education in more than one country.
He got his first degree in the US and his doctorate in the UK. In the US, he recalled, students are encouraged to look across different disciplinary boundaries while in the UK in-depth studies are more emphasized. He did not stress that that in both countries English — broadly defined — is the standard language.
English People’s Daily Online reported that he hopes that more British students come to China ‘to get the benefit of two university systems’.
He also said, ‘Chinese universities are much more international than they were 10 or 15 years ago’
With some 60,000 Chinese students in universities in the UK, China is the largest source of international students to British universities.