Oxford University is set to take part in a talent exchange and joint training programme after an education delegation from southwest China's Guizhou Province visited the United Kingdom.

The visit aimed to further promote the internationalisation of education in Guizhou and introduce more overseas talents.

A total of 11 agreements were signed between universities in Guizhou and their British counterparts.

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The delegation met with representatives  from the British Council, an association specializing in international cultural and educational opportunities, as well as London Metropolitan University and University of Oxford on April 15 and 16.

The meetings explored exchanges and cooperation in education reciprocity, joint training, talent introduction, research cooperation, and discipline construction.

The delegation consisted of provincial officials, as well as leaders and representatives from seven local universities, namely Guizhou University, Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, Guizhou Medical University, Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guizhou Minzu University, Guizhou Education University and Kaili University.

During the visit, seven cooperation agreements, or memorandums of understanding (MOUs), were signed between universities in Guizhou and British universities at a higher education cooperation conference in London.

The event was hosted by the provincial government of Guizhou, organized by its Department of Education, and supported by the British Council.

Lu Yongzheng, a member of the standing committee of the Communist Party of China Guizhou Provincial Committee and secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Education Commission, said: “At present, five universities in Guizhou have previously established seven joint education projects with their British counterparts, and carried out a series of substantive cooperation such as teacher-student exchange visits, academic seminars, and curriculum co-construction, creating opportunities for Guizhou students to study in the UK, and introducing British experts and scholars to Guizhou."

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The province announced it would provide 20 full and partial scholarships for British students to study in Guizhou.

Maddalaine Ansell, global director of education at the British Council, said: “The growth in the number of Chinese students taking part in U.K. education, either in the UK or in China, is a sign of the strength of our connections."

Ms Ansell pointed out that the British Council understands and shares Guizhou's aim of expanding access to higher education, developing expertise in scientific research, and deepening international ties for mutual benefit.

"We firmly believe that, by working together, we can strengthen the UK's relationship with these important areas of China," she said.

According to Ms Ansell, there are 160,000 Chinese students at UK universities and a further 71,000 are studying for UK degrees within China.

China is the UK’s second most important research collaborator, with 156 research centres shared between the two countries.

“We look forward to come to a continued future of cultural exchange, mutual support, and transforming lives with the power of education,” Ms Ansell said.

During the visit, Guizhou University and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research signed an MoU to develop cooperation in research innovation and training exchanges.