ICM Chief Executive goes East to build links

9:33am GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Representatives from Ningxia University and visiting academics, including Professor Thomas, at the tree planting ceremony.

Representatives from Ningxia University and visiting academics, including Professor Thomas, at the tree planting ceremony.

ICM Chief Executive, Professor Tom Thomas, has just returned from a highly beneficial and successful trip to Ningxia in China, and Hong Kong.

During his visit from 13-22 September, Professor Thomas was invited to Ningxia University to take part in its 50th anniversary celebrations. As a Visiting Professor, he has a number of existing links within the University, and had the opportunity to both build upon those links, and secure new ones.

The anniversary celebrations lasted three days, with a range of cultural and educational meetings including a formal presentation, with speeches by local and national dignitaries and the presentation of awards for past senior members of staff. The event was topped off with singing and dance performances from the University’s students, which Professor Thomas described as “excellent”.

During his time there, he was also able to plant a “tree of friendship” on behalf of ICM in the University grounds (pictured). He also managed to spend some time with the University’s President, Professor He Jianguo, to discuss ICM’s activities and the viability of delivering ICM programmes at the University and/or at associated colleges and centres.

Professor Thomas then travelled to Hong Kong, where he visited a range of potential ICM centres and met with various parties to discuss the possibility of collaborative projects, including the local media.

He said: “It was very enjoyable to meet up with old friends at Ningxia University and to meet new contacts from around the world. The celebrations were organised very well and it is tremendous to see the massive expansion achieved at Ningxia. This region has tremendous potential for ICM in developing strong links with local and regional centres and in building up the portfolio of ICM courses.

“As anyone in education will know, China has expanded its supply of education and training over many years, but is still not able to keep up with the tremendous demands for continued learning. It is an exciting market to be involved in and I have confidence that ICM can play its part in the coming years in developing more vocationally-related courses suited for the region.”

By Heidi Lees-Bell

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