Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School, in partnership with Newcastle College, has just been awarded Government grants to lead on collaboration and trade opportunities between North East businesses and China.
The UK-China Enhancing Graduate Employability and Entrepreneurship Fund from the Department of Innovation and Skills and the British Council is highly selective, with only five such grants awarded from tens of applications. Northumbria was on the only university in the North East to receive funding. At the same time Newcastle Business School’s success adds to its growing reputation, and follows its recent accolade as Business School of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.
Initial funding of around £30,000 will be used on a project entitled the China Business Development Programme North East, which aims to provide graduates with the skills, knowledge and expertise to thrive in a complex international business environment. However, Professor Yu Xiong who is leading the project from Newcastle Business School, believes the funding can also be a stepping stone to additional financial support from venture capital initiatives such as the £100 million Low Carbon Investment Fund set up jointly by China and the UK. The grant will also enable the University to work with high profile government bodies, businesses, and partners in China including the government of Guangdong Province, Zhongkai National Science Park, Fujian province Association of Industrial Cooperation, Chongqing University and Huihui Information Technology Ltd. The project aims to create impact to at least three provinces in China.
Professor Xiong, Chair of Technology and Operations Management at Newcastle Business School, said: “The economic growth of China represents a considerable opportunity for North East entrepreneurs to develop rewarding international trade links. It is, however, recognised that access to Chinese markets requires substantial knowledge, expertise and connections, which can pose a challenge to graduates seeking to establish start-ups which can engage productively with China.”
Professor Kevin Kerrigan, executive dean of faculty of business and law, said:” This funding will help us provide graduates with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise through access to leading speakers from academia, government and industry. As the fund interacts with other sources of venture capital it can also open the door to additional financial support.”
Tony Lewin, Principal of Newcastle College, said "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Northumbria University in the design and development of the China Business Development Programme North East. The College is proud to be supporting an initiative that will substantially enhance the entrepreneurial attributes of North East graduates, support the Northern Powerhouse agenda and drive the economic growth of the region."
The growth of business links with China is also aligned with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan, and especially supported by the LEP’s recently established Northeast Innovation Observatory. Through its geographic focus, the China Business Development Programme North East also seeks to further strengthen the relationship between China and the Northern Powerhouse.
Within a local context, collaboration between Northumbria University and Newcastle College in enhancing the skillsets and entrepreneurial potential of North East graduates, demonstrating the commitment of participating institutions to the economic growth and prosperity of the region.
With an Association to Advance Collegiate Business Schools (AACSB) double accreditation in business and accounting, Newcastle Business School is among an elite group of the top 1% of business schools worldwide.
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