Prime Minister Theresa May Announces New Education Relationship with China

Today, the Prime Minister has set out an ambitious new approach to UK-China education, bolstering our already strong relationship and creating jobs and opportunities in the UK.

In Wuhan, home to the largest number of students of any city in the world, the Prime Minister has announced a series of measures to boost our education links with China and intensify the Golden Era in UK-China relations.

The close ties between the UK and China are reflected in our relationship on education. Chinese students already constitute the largest single source of overseas students in the UK, with 155,000 students currently in the UK worth an estimated £5 billion annually. There are also now some 9,000 young British people studying and interning in China, with numbers up 60 per cent since 2013.

Building on this relationship, the Prime Minister has announced a series education deals totalling more than £550 million, creating over 800 jobs in the UK. A new package of exchange deals, partnerships and commercial contracts are set to bolster bilateral educational opportunities.

We will extend our pioneering exchange scheme to provide for more world-class maths teaching in UK schools, enabling an additional 140 primary teachers in England to benefit from further training in China, while our Mandarin Excellence Programme, launched in 2016, aims to have 5000 UK secondary school pupils fluent in Mandarin by 2020. More study exchanges will also enhance vocational education, enabling students in the UK and China to benefit from each other’s knowledge and skills.

Our relationship with China already delivers real benefits for people living in both countries, and the Prime Minister’s visit will allow us to explore new opportunities to develop this further. The agreements we have signed today will build on that and enable more children and more young people than ever to share their ideas and skills, ensuring that our Golden Era of co-operation will endure for generations to come.