China’s oldest university may soon be linking up with one of the UK’s newest, as a marine science degree is planning to bring Asian students to Scotland.
Delegates from Tianjin University, China, including the university’s vice chancellor Yan Xueynan, visited the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), near Oban, to explore collaborative links between their institution and the University of the Highlands and Islands, which is a partner of SAMS.
In the short term the universities hope to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will lead to collaborative developments on undergraduate marine science teaching, with SAMS UHI staff providing guest lectures in China and Chinese students spending part or all of the final year of their marine science undergraduate degree at SAMS UHI in Oban.
The partnership could also pave the way for the two universities to explore international research opportunities.
Staff from SAMS UHI will visit Tianjin this autumn, proposing for a course to begin in autumn 2016, with the first Tianjin students arriving at SAMS as early as 2019.
Professor Keith Davidson of SAMS, who will be representing SAMS UHI on the return trip, said:
"We were delighted to host our colleagues from Tianjin University. Marine science is of considerable importance in both Scotland and China, with many shared challenges. The proposed collaborative developments between SAMS UHI and Tianjin will potentially provide excellent opportunities for teaching, research and cultural exchange."
Founded in 1895 as Peiyang University, Tianjin University (TJU) is the first university in China and is regarded as the pioneer of modern higher education in China.
The visit was facilitated by Perth College UHI who had visited Tianjin earlier in the year..