Helping the University of Essex build education and business links in China

Professor Anthony ForsterThe Vice Chancellor of the University of Essex, Professor Forster, has just returned from a visit to China to develop links with Chinese businesses and universities. The visit arranged by Essex International (EI), Essex County Council’s (ECC) International Trade Team, included meetings with major Chinese businesses and universities in Jiangsu Province the area with which ECC has a longstanding partnership.

“It is fantastic to see Professor Forster and the University of Essex building connections with businesses and educational institutions in China thanks to the ongoing work of Essex International.

Essex has been forging links with Jiangsu Province for nigh on thirty years. Seeing the academic and business worlds join forces in this way to drive economic growth both in Essex and Jiangsu is another example of how Essex means business.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, Essex County Council

Encouraging investment into the region

Essex International manages the long standing East of England-Jiangsu partnership on behalf of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, helping businesses, schools, universities, vocational colleges, museums, cities and regions develop profitable partnerships. This has increased exports to China and attracted inward investment to the East of England.

“We are looking to develop lasting partnerships with universities and businesses in China and encourage inward investment into the region so we are very grateful for Essex International’s tremendous support.”

Professor Forster, Vice Chancellor, University of Essex

Globally recognised expertise offering business opportunities

The University of Essex has specialisms in science and technology, engineering and the emerging fields of data analytics and works with companies to provide solutions to a specific strategic issue. It has also delivered targeted training including a bespoke course for Chinese-based state-owned businesses.

University of Essex presentation in China

“Our globally recognised expertise in the social sciences and data analysis offers so many opportunities to build enduring collaborations – particularly in the fields of business, economics, languages and computer science.

We also want to talk to innovative companies and fresh thinking start-ups who are interested in finding a new home on our growing Knowledge Gateway research and technology park.”

Professor Forster, Vice Chancellor, University of Essex

Nurturing education links with China

During his 10 day visit Professor Forster also met students looking to study at the University of Essex and leaders from several universities. With assistance from EI Professor Forster visited China last year and this latest visit is part of a longer term strategy to build upon the education links already made in China.

University of Essex meeting students in China

“This visit builds on my previous trip and our existing links to China. We have more than 1,000 Chinese students studying at Essex, a network of more than 3,000 Chinese alumni and we look forward to welcoming many more.”

Professor Forster, Vice Chancellor, University of Essex

About Essex International

Essex International works with companies and organisations to help them make the most of the opportunities of the UK market in the case of Chinese organisations, and the Chinese market, in the case of UK organisations across a number of specific business themes...

  • Export to China – connecting companies to interested buyers in China
  • Inward Investment from China – helping UK regions attract inward investment
  • Student Recruitment in China - helping to recruit students from China for universities, colleges and schools
  • Development of Chinese Professionals – providing training to Chinese professionals through UK professional training institutions

For more information about Essex International see

See here for more info on the University of Essex.

Peter Manning
Peter Manning

Head of Essex International

+44 (0) 7907 025 155


Extensive 'in market' experience in China, India and the UK. 15 years in the fields of inward investment, international trade, international realtionships and business development. His experience of helping UK and Chinese businesses, universities and governments do business together has given Peter detailed knowledge of how to do business in China and a wide range of contacts. Peter has an MBA from Henley Business School (Reading University), and was awarded an OBE in 2019 in the New Year’s Honours List for UK/China Relations.