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Dr Theo Papadopolous & Dr Gian Luca Gardini with colleagues during their visit to Shandong University
Dr Theo Papadopolous & Dr Gian Luca Gardini with colleagues during their visit to Shandong University
Dr Theo Papadopolous & Dr Gian Luca Gardini with colleagues during their visit to Shandong University
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Internal News - 11 December 2006

Bath academics build bridges with China

The University’s partnership with Shandong University, China, was further strengthened last month when academics from the European Research Institute (ERI) visited Shandong to speak at a conference on 'EU institutional dynamics' and give a series of lectures to postgraduate students. The visit was sponsored by the EU-funded partnership between the ERI and the Center for European Studies (CESSU) in Shandong University.

Dr Theo Papadopoulos, Director of the ERI, said: “The visit was a great opportunity to consolidate further our links in China and discuss the next phase of the partnership with CESSU. We confirmed plans for future academic exchanges - a joint postgraduate programme under the EU-funded Asia-Link Programme and discussed future research collaborations.

"We also made plans to co-organise a high-level EU-China forum on knowledge economy. It will be hosted in Shandong in June 2007 and the invitation list includes high level Chinese policy makers and entrepreneurs as well as representatives from the European Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development and the World Bank. Professor Graham Room, in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, will be the key link person in this endeavour.

“The conference, which was on EU-institutional dynamics, was attended by some of China’s top academics in European studies. Indeed, our Chinese colleagues have a great interest in the EU as a successful model of international collaboration that aims to combine economic prosperity with social cohesion and the peaceful co-existence among diverse nations. It was very inspiring to see how much the politico-economic architecture of the EU is valued by our Chinese colleagues as a source of institutional ideas and inspiration for future politico-economic developments in East Asia".

During their visit to Shandong University, Dr Papadopoulos and his colleague, Dr Gian Luca Gardini, also taught European Politics and International Relations courses to Masters and PhD students from both International Politics and Public Administration degree programmes.

Dr Gardini said: “The visit was very valuable both for teaching and for identifying new research opportunities. The lectures we gave were compulsory for the students which shows how much Shandong University values the exchange.

“We are already planning new research projects with contacts we met during our visit. One idea we are considering concerns European business models and how they could translate in China. In particular, we may focus on the impact upon social cohesion of establishing large size companies as compared to small companies.”

The EU-funded partnership between the ERI and CESSU was announced in February last year. Since then the institute has hosted a joint conference - European Politics, Society & Governance at Bath, and organised visits for staff and doctoral students between the two institutions.

Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice Chancellor Strategic Development, said: “Creating sustainable links with leading research centres in other countries, based on genuine collaborative partnerships, is very much part of the developing international agenda of the University.”