From education to employment

University of Birmingham’s research and education initiatives in Guangzhou create education programmes that produce 300 highly-skilled graduates a year

University of Birmingham’s ¥327 million boost to Guangzhou economy as successful partnership extended 

The University of Birmingham’s work with its partners in Guangzhou contributes ¥327 million (£37 million) to the Chinese city’s economy every year – new figures show. 

And the University has cemented its successful partnership with Birmingham’s sister city by signing a new five-year agreement to continue working with the Guangzhou Municipal Government on research and education initiatives in the city.  

The University has worked with the city’s Government since 2011 and an independent report details how working with partners in Guangzhou contributes ¥32 million (£4 million) per year from research activities in Guangzhou and ¥47 million (£5 million) from teaching and learning initiatives.   

Every ¥1 million (£100,000) invested in research partnerships with Birmingham generated a return of ¥2 million (£239,000) for the Guangzhou economy.

With an office in the city centre and partnerships with Guangzhou Municipal Government and local partners, the University’s operations contribute ¥247 million (£28 million) per year to the city’s economy. 

The report “Our Impact on Guangzhou: The Economic, Social and Cultural Impact of the University of Birmingham on the city of Guangzhou” is based on research by London Economics and outlines how the University is helping to improve quality of life for people living and working in the city through a range of research and education programmes which have: 

  • Delivered health and exercise programmes to over 60,000 schoolchildren
  • Improved safety and comfort for 8.2 million people using the metro every day
  • Created education programmes that will produce 300 highly-skilled graduates a year
  • Helped train over 800 General Practitioners (GPs)  – easing pressure on city hospitals

London Economics measured the economic impact of the University on Guangzhou during the 2017/18 academic year. Its report was launched by University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood in a special ceremony at the city’s Jinan University ahead of signing the new agreement with Guangzhou Municipal Government. 

Professor Sir David Eastwood commented:

“As a global civic University, we decided that Birmingham’s sister city of Guangzhou was the ideal place for the University of Birmingham to base ourselves in China. 

“Today’s agreement marks the ongoing success of our partnership with Guangzhou. We look forward to many more years working together with the Guangzhou Municipal Government to meet challenges and create closer relations between our cities. 

“We work collaboratively with local partners and the city government to deliver positive social and economic impact in the way we do in Birmingham. I’m delighted that the new report measures our contribution to Guangzhou society – not only in financial terms, but also the benefit to citizens’ lives.” 

The new five-year partnership agreement was signed by Professor Sir David Eastwood and Vice Mayor Wang Dong from Guangzhou Municipal Government in a special ceremony. 

Highlights of the report include: 

  • Over 60,000 primary schoolchildren in Guangzhou have taken part in the CHIRPY DRAGON programme to develop healthy diet and exercise plans to alleviate obesity.
  • Birmingham experts working with Guangzhou Metro are analysing power supplies to trains, energy storage from braking and smart timetabling to make ¥7million (£800,000) savings in energy costs.
  • Teaching and learning initiatives, notably through the Joint Institute with Jinan University contribute ¥47 million (£5 million) per year to the local economy rising to ¥126 million  per year (£14 million) once the Institute reaches full capacity.
  • Birmingham’s work has helped build capacity in primary care and improve health outcomes by delivering professional development to over 200 GP ‘best practice trainers’ and more than 800 GPs across Guangzhou.
  • In 2017–18, research contributed ¥32 million (£4 million) a year to the local economy. Medicine and health care accounted for ¥10.5 million (£1.2 million) – 41% of the total. Advanced engineering & materials attracted ¥10.1 million (£1.1 million) – 39% of the total. Transport research represented ¥4 million (£480,000) – 16%.


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