The University of Bath recently strengthened links with a university in China with the announcement of a new scheme that will allow elite Chinese engineering students to continue their study at Bath on a joint BEng programme.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Kevin Edge and Dean of Engineering Professor Gary Hawley recently attended the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China.

HIT is one of the top ranking universities in China and it has 45 National and State Key Laboratories. Its research and development directly supports the Chinese space programme.

Professor Edge presented a Bath Aqua Glass commemorative gift to President Professor Wang Shuguo and took part in the official proceedings held in the HIT sports stadium.

Professor Edge said: “We have had informal research links with HIT in the past but this agreement is an important step as we seek to develop a substantial and mutually beneficial partnership with one of the top universities in China.”

The visit also included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to promote activities between the engineering faculties at both institutions. Professor Hawley presented the outline of a new programme in mechanical engineering to the elite scholar students.

The Elite Scholar Programme at HIT comprises the top five per cent of all undergraduates at HIT and a scheme will be introduced which will allow students from HIT to move into the second year of the BEng in Mechanical Engineering. The first cohort on this scheme is expected in 2011.