Why Are Young People Thinking About China?
Employers frequently emphasise the importance for graduates and young professionals of combining overseas experience with other transferable skills in order to maximise their employability. China is becoming an important player in the world economy, and, increasingly, careers involve an international element. In this context, helping young generations to gain experience of China and improve their cultural fluency is an excellent investment in the future.
Think Academic Exchange
The UK is a key partner for China in education, with partnerships in higher education quality assessment and leadership, strong demand for collaboration and engagement with industry, research and innovation. Internationalisation is very much at the top of China’s agenda and Chinese higher education institutions have now started to invest in universities in the UK. At present, the UK is China’s number one transnational education (TNE) partner for joint programmes and Chinese students make up the largest overseas student body in the UK.
Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson and China’s Minister of Education Yuan Guiren signed an ambitious framework agreement on education collaboration at the third high–level UK-China People to People Dialogue in London in September 2015. A total of 23 education agreements were signed at the 8th UK-China Education Summit, part of the People to People dialogue, which will see UK universities and organisations working closely with partners in China to boost joint academic research and student exchange, and to establish new institutions.
Think Business Opportunities
For the past 30 years, the Chinese economy has sustained an average GDP growth of 8 per cent per year. As an economic powerhouse, it’s the world’s biggest exporter and second largest importer, and is a country of increasing importance in the international arena. Businesses from across the globe are engaging with China at various levels and, as such, young professionals with international experience and language skills are increasingly valued by employers on both sides.
A study for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in 2014 estimates that language and cultural barriers are costing the UK economy up to £48 billion per year. Graduates who can speak more than one language will have a significant competitive advantage in today’s job market. Staff with language skills are seen by businesses as being more likely to appreciate the need for intercultural communication and in-house language skills win clients.