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Chinese students take tea with Lord Mayor

Date: 04 Oct 2018

Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, has held a special tea party in her parlour to welcome a group of Chinese students to Belfast in a follow-up to her successful visit to China last month.

Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, has held a special tea party in her parlour to welcome a group of Chinese students to Belfast in a follow-up to her successful visit to China last month.

All the students, from the China Medical University-Queen’s University Joint College (CQC), met the Lord Mayor during her visit to China last month where she was strengthening trade and education links as well as highlighting Belfast as a tourist destination for the millions of Chinese tourists who travel to Europe each year.

The tea party highlighted the continuing growth of CQC – it now has more than 350 students and held its inaugural graduation earlier this year.

Councillor Hargey said: “It was a busy, exciting time in China strengthening ties with both Beijing and our Sister City, Shenyang, and today’s event is a small way of paying back the hospitality given to the Belfast delegation.

“We want the students to know how valued the connections are between Belfast and China, and the more we attract students of this calibre to our local universities and encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas and knowledge the more each country can each benefit.

“These students are already ambassadors for CQC and going forward will be ambassadors for Belfast, able to tell of their first-hand experiences in our city. I want them to give the best report possible, especially about the welcome they received,” she said.

“China is the powerhouse of Asia and as we move forward with our Belfast Agenda, seeking investment and creating more opportunities for our people, the relationship with it and our Sister City, Shenyang, will prove immensely valuable. 

“We have always reached beyond our shores to make new friends, explore ideas, and seek investments and partnership. Belfast has skills to share and benefits we want to highlight and our International Unit works hard to do this across the world, including Europe, China and the United States,” added Councillor Hargey.

Professor Jones, Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Students) commented: “CQC is an exciting part of Queen’s transformational journey to develop its international footprint. Over recent years the University has moved away from its traditional international articulation programmes and established a cooperative Trans-National Education Institution (CQC) in China collaborating with the China Medical University (CMU).

Professor Gavin Andrews (Vice Dean, CQC) added: “CQC continues to be the University’s ‘leading light’ in China and to be a showpiece of UK-China collaborative education. The College continues to go from strength to strength. We celebrated our inaugural graduation in the summer of 2018 and our student numbers continue to grow, now exceeding 350. 

“Our college in China is another example of the university’s continued commitment to international activity and how Northern Ireland continues to build strong and lasting links with our Sister City, Shenyang.”


During the visit the Lord Mayor and representatives from Visit Belfast, Tourism Ireland, and Queen’s and Ulster Universities held meetings with the senior officials in Shenyang who make decisions on the economy, tourism and education for over 7 million people. Through Shenyang, Belfast now also has access to over 40 million people in Liaoning province as the economic powerhouse of Northeast China.

The Chinese Consul General, Madame Wang, said: “On behalf of the Chinese Consulate-General in Belfast, I sincerely congratulate the first group of Chinese students graduating from China Medical University-Queen's University Joint College, and warmly welcome them to continue their studies at Queen's University of Belfast. 

“The Joint College has been a successful example of cooperative education between China and Northern Ireland. These students present, plus more than 1200 other Chinese students in NI, could serve as friendly ambassadors who would further strengthen Shenyang-Belfast Sister-city relations as well as China-NI win-win cooperation.

“In this regard, I highly appreciate the great efforts and contribution made by Lord Mayor Hargey during her recent visit to Shenyang and her warm hospitality to the Chinese students today. I believe that the joint efforts of both sides, the China-NI friendly and collaborative relationship will surely be lifted to a higher level.”

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