On 12th November 2019 the British International Education Association (BIEA) was pleased to welcome Wang Xijin, Vice President of the Anhui Women’s Federation and delegates from the Anhui Province to its London headquarters. BIEA Secretary General Nikki Collins warmly welcomed their visitors. Together they discussed the promotion of British early years education globally, developments in STEM education, and international training and exchange programmes for female teachers, before signing a strategic cooperation agreement.

BIEA is a non-profit educational organisation that promotes British international education overseas, to meet the need for quality education in the international education market and to establish a direct dialogue with educators worldwide. BIEA’s early years education training and accreditation programme, which is based on the UK EYFS standard, has received global attention. The annual BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition has also gained worldwide acclaim. The competition, which brings together technology, science and human ingenuity, has attracted enthusiastic responses from young people and teachers all over the world, with the 2019 event attracting participants from 34 countries and regions. Even more youth worldwide are set to take part in the 2020 competition, which addresses perhaps the most pertinent environmental issue that the world currently faces with its theme: “STEM (Stop) the Tide of Plastic Pollution”.

The Anhui Women’s Federation is a leading force in the women’s movement in China. The organisation is responsible for promoting government policies on women and protecting women’s rights, including the livelihood and wellbeing of girls. It has made positive contributions to promoting economic and social development in Anhui Province and the progress of women’s careers in China.

The partnership of these two organisations will address the demand for British-style models of both early years and STEM education in Anhui Province, as well as making a specific commitment to developing the skills of female teachers and students in the area.

The first phase of the two organisations’ work together will be the “BIEA Sino-British STEM Camp Project (Primary and Secondary School)” and the meeting this week involved detailed planning of this collaboration. During their visit, delegates also visited the esteemed British girls’ school St Teresa’s Effingham in Surrey and The Perse School in Cambridge, where they met with the principal of each school and spoke to teachers about their specific early years and STEM education programmes.

This new partnership marks a further strengthening of the connection between BIEA and China, following the recent announcement of BIEA’s partnership with Soong Ching Ling Science and Cultural Centre, which will lead on a regional version of the BIEA STEM competition, to be held in mainland China. The foundation of a promising relationship between BIEA and the Anhui Women’s Federation has opened up new and important opportunities for students from Anhui Province to participate in STEM education. Through alliances like these, yet more young people across China will benefit from participating in this highly regarded international competition.