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China expert Michele Geraci returns to UNNC

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Professor Michele Geraci

University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) professor and current Italian Under-Secretary for Economic Development, Michele Geraci returned to campus on Monday to give a speech and take questions from staff and students.

Professor Geraci - who was appointed Under-Secretary for Economic Development in the Italian government in 2018 - was back at the University for the first time since starting his new job.

Michele was welcomed back to campus by the Head of Nottingham University Business School China (NUBS) Martin Lockett. Professor Lockett congratulated his former colleague on his success, light-heartedly commenting that Professor Geraci had a reputation among his students for being "quite strict". Upon taking the stage Professor Michele responded by saying that if he had been strict with students during his time, then there was a good reason for it.

“I only wanted to push my students towards bettering themselves and achieving their potential,” he said.

Professor Geraci went on to give a colourful speech that touched upon several subjects, including Italy’s embrace of China's “Belt and Road” initiative and the difficulties of his own assimilation back into Italian society. “We still use cash,” he joked. “It’s very strange.”

Michele Geraci was recently part of the Italian government delegation that welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to Italy on an official visit. Asked about the experience, Professor Geraci said that it had been a good opportunity to remind President Xi about Ningbo and UNNC. “I spoke to him about this place, so the President is definitely aware of you all.”

As UNNC turns 15 years old, Professor Geraci repeatedly thanked students and staff for their support with his own career. “For the next fifteen years, it’s all about the quality of teaching staff,” he said. “Get that right and anything can be achieved.”

Professor Geraci also urged students to follow his own example when embarking upon their lives and careers after UNNC. “Do what I did - learn, earn, then serve,” he said. “After living and working all over the world, it’s now my time to serve”.

Posted on 1 April 2019