University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Public lecture series: The challenges of internationalisation

A series of public lectures to celebrate The University of Nottingham Ningbo China’s 10 year anniversary will showcase the University’s leading role in research and education on China and internationalisation.

International speakers from around the world will visit the campus to address a wide range of big issues facing all societies over the next 10 years and beyond, focussing on the challenges of internationalisation.

Details of the speakers will be announced on this page and through our events listings.

Robert Bickers
Professor Robert Bickers, British historian and author
Thursday 5 March, 7-8.30pm
Robert Bickers is professor of history at the University of Bristol. Amongst other books he is the author of Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai (2003) and The Scramble for China: Foreign devils in the Qing empire, 1832-1914 (2004). He directs the Historical Photographs of China project and is a co-director of the AHRC-funded British Inter-university China Centre. His most recent book, Getting Stuck in for Shanghai: Putting the Kibosh on the Kaiser from the Bund, was published in 2014.

His talk, 'World in Motion: Professional Circuits through Nineteenth Century China', will explore the acceleration of travel and the interaction of various performers with China throughout the 1850s-1890s. It will focus on amateur and professional music, circuses, Hong Kong's first tourist, a Chinese giant, jugglers and acrobats.

Ji Xiaojun, CCTV (China Central Television) presenter
Wednesday 17 December, 7-9pm   

Ji Xiaojun is a presenter on CCTV News and regularly hosts programmes in English – Culture Express, Crossover, Happy Chinese and Our Chinese Heart. Ji graduated from Beijing Language and Culture University before obtaining his MBA degree from The University of Nottingham in 1999.

His face is one of the most recognised in Chinese television, while his voice was heard opening and closing the Beijing Olympic ceremonies. His career on CCTV is about much more than just being a presenter, however. As co-host of Crossover and Culture Express, Ji is doing what he can to introduce China, Chinese people and the Chinese lifestyle to overseas audiences and vice versa. In 2006 and 2010, Ji was named CCTV Outstanding Host, while he was awarded the Golden Microphone prize in 2012.

He will share his stories and experiences as a Nottingham alumnus, as a TV presenter and also as a bridge between different cultures.

Dr Wolfgang Roehr

Dr Wolfgang Röhr, former Consul General of Germany in Shanghai
Wednesday 19 November, 7-8pm

Dr Wolfgang Röhr was Consul General in Shanghai from 2002 to 2007 and is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Sustainable Humanities and Social Science of Tongji University, Shanghai.

Dr Röhr will shed some light on the complex and intricate relationship between Europe and China, as well as the implications for businesses. On the background of his experience in Asian and European affairs in the German Foreign Ministry and German missions in China, he will discuss European strategies and goals - and expectations - for the future. He will conclude with an outlook for a relationship hopefully characterised by more understanding and less friction - both in trade and economics as well in political issues.  


David Willetts, former UK Minister for Universities and Science
Friday 14 November 2-3pm
International Conference Centre 

David has been the Member of Parliament for Havant in the UK since 1992. He has worked at HM Treasury, the Number 10 Policy Unit, and served as Paymaster General in the last Conservative Government.

From May 2010 to July 2014 David served as Minister for Universities and Science. He was appointed as a Privy Councillor in June 2010.

He is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation, a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a member of the Global Ageing Commission and a visiting professor at the Cass Business School.

He will talk about how universities contribute to science and business innovation, intellectual property and changes happening in China, as well as reflect on what that means in the UK and China respectively.


Jill Robinson, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia Foundation
Friday 14 November, 7-8pm

Jill Robinson has been a pioneer of animal welfare in Asia since 1985 and is widely recognised as the world’s leading expert on the bear bile industry, having campaigned against it since 1993.

In 1998, she founded Animals Asia, an organisation that is devoted to ending the practice of bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam. The organisation has grown into a respected international NGO with over 300 staff, an annual turnover of more than US$9 million, award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam (with 400 rescued bears), headquarters in Hong Kong, and offices in Australia, China, Germany, Italy, the UK, US and Vietnam.

Jill's lecture will focus on Animals Asia's solution-based strategy to ending bear bile farming and the work they have done to address the needs of farmers, bears and government.


Dr Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Adviser to the UK government
Tuesday 7 October, 7-8pm

Dr Peter Hansford graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering from The University of Nottingham in 1975 and an MBA from Cranfield University in 1986. He was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by The University of Nottingham in July 2014.

Peter has over 35 years’ experience in the development and delivery of major infrastructure projects, for government, public and private clients, consultants and contractors in the UK and overseas. He has worked on highways, railways and energy projects in the UK, on new town infrastructure in Hong Kong and has advised on infrastructure developments and capital investment programmes for numerous clients.

In his lecture Dr Hansford will describe steps taken over the last four years by the UK government and industry to transform construction in the UK. He will include lessons for construction in China.


Professor Lily Kong, Vice-Provost of National University of Singapore
Monday 6 October, 7-8pm

A graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and University College London, Professor Lily Kong has been a faculty member in the NUS Department of Geography since 1991. She is currently Vice-Provost (Academic Personnel) and holds a Provost’s Chair Professorship.

A social-cultural geographer, Professor Kong's main research areas are religion, cultural policy and creative economy, and national identity. She has more than 15 books and monographs to her name, as well as over 140 papers in international refereed journals and chapters in books.

Her lecture will focus on the development of a “new” Asian studies that is neither dominated by the “West’s” interest in the “oriental other”, nor seized by defensive “insider” approaches.


Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG, Britain's Ambassador to China
Saturday 5 July, 6-7.30pm

Sir Sebastian officially took office in January 2010. While this is his first ambassadorial appointment, he has held a succession of other senior appointments with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, some with a strong China focus.

He learnt Mandarin at the beginning of the 90s, before serving in the Joint Liaison Group in the run-up to the handover of Hong Kong. His other Chinese-related work also included a posting in Washington following US foreign policy in Asia and latterly he was the FCO's Asia-Pacific Director before a secondment to Rolls Royce.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2014.