Landmark international anniversaries celebrated

15 November 2023

30th anniversary of the UCLan-BIT Partnership and the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Engineering Joint Programme

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) have marked the 30th Anniversary of their global collaboration.

Senior representatives from both institutions, including UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin and the President of the BIT and Academician Long Teng, took part in a celebratory event recently at BIT’s Liangxiang Campus.

The event, which included the Opening Ceremony for the academic year 2023/24, also honoured the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the joint Electronic Engineering (EE) programme.

Professor Baldwin expressed his optimism for further collaboration between the University and BIT and emphasised UCLan’s commitment to close cooperation with international partners to provide high-quality education and support student success on a global scale. He also praised the dedicated staff of both universities, who have continuously supported the collaboration, ensuring the high-quality operation of the programme.

He said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming so many BIT students to Preston this year as they progress through to their final year, and we look forward to welcoming you onto campus in the future.

"We’re delighted to be welcoming so many BIT students to Preston this year as they progress through to their final year, and we look forward to welcoming you onto campus in the future"

UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin

“The University traces its history back to the year 1828, with the founding of the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. For nearly 200 years, we’ve developed a tradition of helping everybody, no matter their background or home in the world, to make the very best of their potential as individuals to succeed and stand out in a modern and competitive world. Our excellent track record of dynamic and progressive international partnerships – right across the world - plays a huge part in this tradition.”

More than 270 invited guests attended, including UCLan’s Dr Wei Quan and BIT’s Professor LIU Jiakang, who have been instrumental in the success of the programme, the entire body of students and faculty from UCLan’s programme.

President Teng took the opportunity to reflect on the history of cooperation between the two esteemed universities and highlighted the remarkable achievements of the joint Electronic Engineering programme. Since its inception, the programme has graduated more than 1,000 students, boasting a postgraduate enrolment rate exceeding 90%. It consistently garners top ratings for teaching quality, facilities, and graduate employment from UK official evaluation agencies.

He encouraged all present students to use the excellent resources of both institutions, develop international academic and research capabilities, and strive to become outstanding talents capable of shouldering great responsibilities.

President Teng commented: “UCLan is the first UK partner of BIT: our partnership has sustained 30 years.

“In 1998, the two universities began to run the joint bachelor’s degree programme in EE. Up to now, a total of 1,116 graduates have been awarded degrees in this programme. The programme perfectly meets the requirements of QAA for Higher Education and has on more than one occasion been rated as five-star in terms of teaching, facilities, and employability. 

"UCLan is the first UK partner of BIT: our partnership has sustained 30 years"

President of the BIT and Academician Long Teng

“We are proud to report that the programme has gained wide attention with high profile reputation. The applicants are highly competitive year by year. Over 90 per cent of students have ascended to pursue further study.”

A significant segment of the celebration included an awards ceremony. The programme coordinators from China and the UK presented the Lifetime Contribution Award to two senior professors, LIU Jiakang and SHEN Tingzhi. These remarkable educators have been an integral part of the programme since its inception and later joined the joint programme's management.

The event also saw the presentation of the Outstanding Dedication Award to two retired class tutors, GAO Ping and TIAN Dong, who had served and supported the programme for many years. Their recognition celebrates their outstanding contributions and sustained dedication to the programme's high-quality operation.

Additionally, the occasion hosted the Outstanding Student Scholarship Award Ceremony, where 10 students from the 2022 cohort were recognised for their exceptional achievements.

Following the celebratory event, Chinese and British representatives provided an orientation and introduced the universities to the incoming students of the 2023 cohort.

Over the past three decades, BIT and UCLan have established a deep and fruitful partnership in talent development, education, teaching and research. The joint programme is still one of the highly regarded programmes in China in the Sino-UK higher education collaborative field. This collaboration is a testament to the commitment of both institutions to academic excellence and international cooperation.

Professor Michael Fernando, UCLan Dean of School of Engineering and Computing, added: “Our graduates have not only completed their degrees but have gone on to achieve remarkable success in their careers and further studies. They are a testament to the quality of education and opportunities that this programme provides.”