Through our strategy of student internationalisation we have built a close relationship with Zhejiang University of Technology (ZJUT) since 2004, particularly between the College of Business and Leeds Business School. Leeds City Council is also twinned with Hangzhou and Yorkshire Forward with Zhejiang Province.
LBS and ZJUT jointly deliver a Masters in International Trade and Finance and realise that the concept of entrepreneurship, business and professional CPD (continuous professional development) is not well developed in China. We have identified opportunities to develop new approaches to deliver support for enterprise and innovation for professional managers through CPD by developing our expertise to fit the local context in Zhejiang and Hangzhou City. Achieving this will allow us to take our partnership with Zhejiang University of Technology to a new level for the 2008-2011 period, strengthening our teaching, research and consultancy on the developing Chinese economy.
The British Council research project
To develop new approaches to enterprise education that are appropriate for the next generation of Chinese managers, and those from in the United Kingdom who are seeking to develop appropriate business skills for the Chinese context, we are analysing the requirements for enterprise and innovation skills in local and regional business in Hangzhou; and will map the provision of CPD locally.
We are also seeking to identify local requirements for enterprise and innovation in key sectors linked to Leeds- like the Financial and Business Services, and high technology industries and the public and manufacturing sectors.
To achieve this, we are developing a focused set of case study companies with the aim of assessing further the different regulatory environments and the impact on skill demands for both the UK and China. This will be done by a series of exploratory interviews with companies in different sectors working with business school colleagues from ZJUT. Our target is to develop 10 company case studies. We are also conducting a Zhejiang survey of our destination and entrepreneurial student entrepreneurial intentions and experience and the employment experience of Chinese students on return to China.
The wider benefits of the Leeds/Hangzhou Partnership
The grant from the British Council will allow Leeds Business School to fund visits for our researchers and professors and to interview Chinese companies.
The project will be launched from 8 October 2008 in the presence of key companies in the region investing in china as well as Chinese companies interested in investing in the region.
The outcome of the first year of the research will allow Leeds Business School to strengthen the partnership with Zhejiang University of Technology through this closer collaboration. It will also allow us to map out key business and economic issues to be addressed educationally and organisationally in order to take to a new level the economic, cultural and educational relation between Leeds and Zhejiang and strengthen links with Chinese Companies.
The main objective of the research is to inform Leeds Met and Leeds Business School business education on China. We will be able to develop teaching material and methods that are tailored to the needs of Hangzhou economy and its future city and regional development. Chinese and UK Students will gain entrepreneurial and innovation skills that contribute to stronger regional higher educational developments and greater business and cultural understanding.