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Greatest legacy.

LIVERPOOL University's chancellor Lord Owen has publicly stated that "Drummond Bone's greatest legacy will be China".

Sir Drummond was instrumental in establishing the Liverpool-Shanghai Partnership and also set up Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University (XJL) in China.

Opened in May 2006, it is one of only two such international developments agreed by the Chinese authorities and the only Sino-British university.

Chinese students are a vital source of income to British universities, but Sir Drummond claims their impact is not simply a question of fees.

"China is building at a great rate and we must hedge our bets for the future by involvement in that," he says.

"I also wanted to prove some way of making Liverpool University realise it could operate in a large international capacity.

"Talking to the head of Xi'an Jiaotong University, the 12th biggest Chinese education institute, we discovered we could set up a joint organisation under the country's new legislation.

"Nottingham University has a campus in China, but our one is a new university which has been sited very carefully near to the east coast high-tech area, at Suzhou, west of Shanghai."

Some 1,500 students annually will receive Liverpool degrees in business, science, urban planning and, later, postgraduate degrees.

Sadly, no Romantic poetry is on the curriculum.

"They want a western pedagogic experience, in which you find out for yourselves, rather than the Chinese manner of knowledge being handed down from the top in an approved way," he says.

Sir Drummond likes the idea that Liverpool, once the world's greatest trading city with Far East links, is now reviving its links through this project.

Amusingly, his market research showed that potential Chinese students were unaware of cities such as Birmingham, but all had heard of Liverpool.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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