Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Visits University of Birmingham

On 29 June 2023, H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang visited the University of Birmingham, where he met with Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, and attended the unveiling ceremony of a Blue Plaque dedicated to Li Siguang.

Ambassador Zheng noted that the University of Birmingham has a long history and is a member of the Russell Group known internationally for its excellent teaching and scientific research. The Ambassador said that there are currently around 6,800 Chinese students studying at the University and that in recent years, collaboration between the University and Chinese educational institutions on research in clean energy, healthcare and other fields has achieving positive outcomes that benefit the teachers and students of both sides. The Ambassador pointed out that educational collaboration is an important part of China-UK relations and that China supports the expansion of exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between the academic institutions of the two countries. He expressed hope that the University and its Chinese counterparts will continue to strengthen collaboration in teaching and scientific research, so as to inject more positive energy into the growth of China-UK relations.

Vice-Chancellor Tickell warmly welcomed Ambassador Zheng and noted that exchanges between the University of Birmingham and Chinese universities benefit both sides. The Vice-Chancellor said that the University is willing to deepen cooperation with Chinese institutions in environmental protection, new energy, public health and other sectors, welcome Chinese scholars and students to come for exchanges, and would like to encourage more British students to study in China.

During his visit, Ambassador Zheng also attended the unveiling ceremony of the Blue Plaque dedicated to Li Siguang, together with Professor William Bloss, Deputy Head of the College of Life & Environmental Sciences, and Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (China) and Director of the China Institute. The two sides expressed willingness to take the ceremony as a new starting point to carry forward the good traditions of China-UK educational cooperation and enhance mutually beneficial exchanges.

The Blue Plaque for Li Siguang will be placed on the exterior wall of the University's Lapworth Museum of Geology to commemorate Li's time of studying geology in Birmingham. Li Siguang came to the University in 1913 to study mining firstly and then changed his major to geology. He graduated and was awarded a master's degree in 1918. Blue plaques are usually placed on the former residences of historical figures or the sites where they were active in the UK. It is an important way to commemorate their significant contributions. A Blue Plaque normally bears the name and achievements of a commemorated figure in white letters on a blue circular disc.

Counselor Hua Mei, wife of Ambassador Zheng, and other members of the delegation attended the event.