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Last Updated: Friday, 30 July, 2004, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
UK university signs Chinese deal
Chinese students at Queen Mary
Queen Mary will offer Chinese students courses in Beijing
A British university has signed a deal with a Chinese counterpart to offer a "double degree", with students graduating from both institutions.

Staff at Queen Mary, London, will help set the electrical engineering curriculum at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

More than 1,000 students are set to join Queen Mary's scheme by 2006.

Nottingham University has already agreed to set up its own 40m purpose-built campus in Ningbo, China.

'Win-win situation'

Queen Mary's joint degrees will be taught entirely in China.

The syllabus and teaching materials will be based on the existing UK curriculum.

The principal, Professor Adrian Smith, said: "I've never been a fan of the colonial one-way approach to the burgeoning higher education market in China.

"We've always adopted a collaborative style of working together, and I believe this is why we have been so successful at developing innovative projects with our Chinese colleagues. It's a win-win situation for both parties."

The course has been designed after consultation with China's ministry of information, which handles telecommunications.

Professor Lin Jointing, president of BUPT, said: "It represents a meaningful exchange between our two countries.

"There has been overwhelming demand from students for this programme, and the first year's intake is now complete."

Queen Mary's programme takes advantage of growing interest from abroad in UK higher education.

There are currently 20,000 Chinese students at universities in Britain.

Demand is expected to grow to 225,000 by 2020, according to the British Council.

Foreign students pay 1.5bn a year in fees to UK universities and contribute 3bn to the economy.

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