Working in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences
A memorandum of understanding, signed in 2010, pledged to bring Lancaster University’s work in environmental science into closer partnership with parallel work taking place in China.
CAS has over 100 institutes as well as a university and graduate school and Lancaster enjoys a special partnership with CAS in Environmental Science and Technology.
The partnership was designed to create opportunities for collaboration between Lancaster and China including postgraduate and staff training, summer schools, exchange programmes, business and enterprise, and joint research tackling global issues ranging from sustainable agriculture and land use to energy, waste and pollution.
Already, a new two-year International Masters Programme in Environmental Science and Technology has been set up enabling students to split their study time between Lancaster University and CAS.
The collaboration has also attracted interest from Unilever who are sponsoring three PhDs which will be offered to Chinese students registered at Lancaster studying environmental science.
CAS and Lancaster have set up a regular programme of joint research workshops both in China and the UK addressing issues such as chemicals management, water treatment and environmental health.
The partnership is about to employ its first shared staff member who will help develop links between Lancaster and CAS, source further joint research income and support student recruitment.
Future developments could see the partnership rolled out further to include other research groups and opportunities for university affiliated businesses.
Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre, Professor Kevin Jones, who helped set the link with CAS, said: “We are delighted with the progress we have made in our first year of collaborative working.
“We are now seeing a constant flow of people, ideas and information between CAS and Lancaster University which brings benefits to science both in the UK and China.
“We are very proud of this partnership, both sides have put a lot of effort into it and it’s starting to show results.”
The CAS Institute for Geochemistry in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and the CAS Institute for the Urban Environment in Xiamen, Fujian province, have been chosen as initial institutes for collaboration with Lancaster, since they already take the lead role for CAS in Lancaster's UK-China Bridge Project.
The China Bridge project is funded by Research Councils UK to improve UK innovation links with China to help tackle environmental issues such as global food security and water quality. Professor Bill Davies of the Lancaster Environment Centre is leading the three year research programme which will tackle some of these problems.
Lancaster University has a strong network of teaching and research partnerships with leading universities across China in a number of fields including science partnerships with China Agricultural University, Nanjing University, North West Agricultural and Forestry University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The University's links with China also include the Lancaster China Management Centre at LUMS which aims to develop new programmes of research and teaching relevant to the needs of Chinese managers.
In 2008, the University launched a three-week Summer School at Beijing Foreign Studies University - Lancaster's longest standing partner in China and one of China's leading universities in teaching foreign languages and cultures.