This autumn, University of Leicester opened up its first overseas institute in northeast China, together with its Chinese joint venture partner, Dalian University of Technology. The students there are promised a chance to do some modules on the main campus in England. Here’s what I’ve found out about the university president who led the expansion.
Scorpio, and Dragon
Favourite Chinese food
Spicy Sichuan prawns
President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester
How did you first get involved with China?
I ran the UK’s Research Councils and we developed a number of collaborative proposals with the Chinese Research Council (Natural Science Foundation of China NSFC)
What was your first impression of China?
Dynamic, friendly, resourceful, and huge.
What has surprised you the most about working with China?
The speed of delivery and the attention to detail. The demand for high quality.
What sort of trends do you see in higher education in China and globally?
A growing number of meaningful research and teaching partnerships, as we have developed with Dalian University of Technology.
What might we be surprised to know about you?
I ran up the Empire State Building.
What magazines and books have you read recently?
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (1998 Booker Prize winner), and other novels by him;
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner (released in 2015)
What do you do when you aren’t working/spare time?
Playing with my children;
Exercise, including sea-swimming, running and cycling.
What inspires you?
Socially mobile leaders.
Who is your hero?
My mother and father.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Time is the most valuable thing you have.