Belfast Telegraph

NI universities visit Beijing to attract Chinese students

By Clare Weir

Thousands of students from China – the world's largest source country for students studying abroad – will find out about education and work opportunities in Northern Ireland at a major conference.

The China International Education Exhibition Tour (CIETT), China's premier international education recruitment event, gets under way in Beijing next week.

The University of Ulster is taking part in the event for the first time and will be joined by Belfast Metropolitan College and Queen's University in a mission organised by Invest Northern Ireland to promote Northern Ireland as a UK education destination for international students.

According to China's Ministry of Education, 2.64 million Chinese students went to study abroad from 1978 to the end of 2012.

The University of Ulster (UU) has a strong and long-standing relationship with China, going back well over 20 years, with students from all over China coming to Northern Ireland to study at one of its four campuses.

UU is also home to Northern Ireland's only Confucius Institute, which promotes the teaching of Chinese language and culture in schools and businesses in Northern Ireland, and acts as a resource for the development of stronger cultural and trade links between the region and China.

It is also positioned in the top third of UK universities for research, with 86% of its research outputs independently assessed as being of international quality.

Teresa Purdy, head of International Student Recruitment and Marketing at the University of Ulster, said that its international students came from every corner of the globe and represented 99 countries. "South and East Asia are strong international recruiting markets for Ulster with approximately one fifth of international students originating from China," she said.

"By exhibiting at three major Chinese cities during the CIEET, we will encourage Chinese students to learn about the opportunities studying at Ulster can bring, and how we can help them achieve their educational and career goals."

"Developing relations with international institutions and welcoming international students to Ulster is at the heart of the University's educational ambition. With over 400 undergraduate courses and more than 100 postgraduate courses, we offer a strong suite of programmes attractive to an international audience."


Around 2.64 million Chinese students went to study abroad from 1978 to the end of 2012, the largest number of overseas students in the world.

Economic reforms in the region since then has seen China fund programmes to send people abroad to acquire new skills.

Top destinations are the US, Australia, the UK and Canada.

Belfast Telegraph