Professor Nick Kaye, Professor Jane Spencer and Dr Emma Cayley with Exeter study abroad students at the Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai.

College of Humanities signs MA Programme Cooperation Agreement with Peking University, Beijing

Professor Nick Kaye, Dean, Professor Jane Spencer, Head of English and Dr Emma Cayley, Head of Modern Languages travelled to China in order to consolidate relationships with key international partner institutions.

The group joined a wider University delegation led by Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Sir Steve Smith.

During their time in China, the Humanities delegation visited Peking University (PKU) in Beijing, and Fudan University, Shanghai, to meet with distinguished Arts and Humanities scholars from these institutions. The much-anticipated visit was one of many that have taken place over the previous two years, and aimed to explore further avenues for multi-disciplinary collaboration within the College’s Modern Languages and English Departments, and consolidate research links made previously.

In October, six staff from the Exeter History department travelled to Beijing to take part in the inaugural Exeter-Peking University research colloquium on the theme, ‘National History in the context of Global History’. Similarly, in August, staff from Fudan University attended a colloquium in Exeter on the topic of Shakespearean Adaptions.

The recent visit was deemed an incredible success by all, and has resulted in the signing of an MA Programme Cooperation Agreement with Peking University.

Professor Nick Kaye comments, “This was an extremely successful series of meetings which we believe will lead to a wide range of academic collaborations in research and teaching across our disciplines. Our next steps include an interdisciplinary colloquium with Modern Languages and English at Fudan University in the late Spring and a second History colloquium with PKU to be hosted at Exeter.”

Modern Languages currently offers Chinese language and culture modules and will launch a full joint honours programme in the near future. The visit provided the opportunity for the senior staff members to meet with Humanities students currently studying abroad at Fudan and Peking Universities in order to share their experiences of living and studying in China and their thoughts on the new Chinese pathway.

Emma Cayley commented, “As Head of Modern Languages, the trip offered an incredibly valuable opportunity to meet students currently studying and working in China, and also to discuss the possibilities of staff and student collaboration with counterparts from a range of language Departments at both Fudan and PKU, and to discover research interests in common.”

The students, who study on English and History programmes in Streatham and Penryn are spending the third year of their four-year study abroad programmes in Beijing and Shanghai. They were also invited to attend prestigious alumni receptions held in Beijing and Shanghai hosted by the Vice-Chancellor.

Andrea Bonfanti, currently studying at Fudan University commented, “Graduates came from all over the country, and some even flew all the way from Japan to be there! We felt like we were part of a big, international family. Our experiences at Exeter do not end with the completion of our degrees - after graduation they will be there with an international network of people to help you in your post-university life.”

Professor Jane Spencer, Head of English added, “I am delighted with the outcomes for English. I was able to explore potential research links between Exeter English and staff at Peking and Fudan universities, and we look forward to the next steps in our collaborations, including the interdisciplinary colloquium at Fudan and further staff and student exchanges with both universities.”

Peking University is ranked 5th in the QS Asian University Rankings 2013, 23rd in the world for Arts and Humanities subjects and 46th in the QS World University Rankings 2013. It has also recently moved up to 45th place in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-2014. Fudan is placed 88th in the QS World University Rankings 2013 and 23rd in the QS Asian University Rankings 2013. It is considered to be the 5th best university in China.

Date: 28 November 2013

Read more University News