Chris Waterman, Early Years Chairman of the British International Education Association (BIEA) accompanied by Yang Feng (BIEA marketing director) and Qifeng Wu (BIEA advisor) visited Henan University on the 24th of February 2019. They were welcomed by Hengbing Wang (Secretary and chair of Henan University Asset Management), Lei Zhang it’s General Manager, Shangcheng Zhou (General Manager Henan University Industrial) and Jianhua Ge (Director Henan University Asset Committee). They then held in-depth talks on future co-operation between their respective offices in the UK and China.

The meeting was chaired by Hengbing. Chis outlined the background to the establishment of BIEA. He spoke of the strong support from the UK Department of International Trade (DIT) and British Council for BIEA’s mission to promote British education internationally. Chris outlined that currently BIEA resources are concentrated on the up to eighteen year old educational needs comprising of Early Years Foundation System (EYFS) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. He also explained that BIEA holds a STEM conference and international Youth Innovation Competition, open to students from around the world, every year.

Hengbing briefly outlined the history and academic background of Henan University. He spoke of the University’s emphasis on pre-school education and the University’s influence on education in general in Henan Province and in China as a whole. Hengbing said that the preparatory school for entrance to the University had a strong emphasis on European and American studies which was a good foundation for future co-operation between the UK and China. He also spoke of the Henan University Asset Management Co. Ltd and its promotion of education and research as a result of it’s scientific and technological achievements. Henan University is expected to be the pilot university in China, in partnership with BIEA, to lead a nationwide international teacher training programme. Hengbing then explained the concept of the “1+X” model (one academic certificate + “x” professional certificate) that has been outlined in the latest work of the Ministry of Education for 2019. He then said that this was in line with the BIEA concept of Continual Professional Development (CPD) vocational training.

Yang then explained the BIEA CPD training programme and led a discussion of it’s training content, it’s duration, value and quality. Lei then had a general discussion with Chris and the rest of the team on BIEA’s training system and future development direction.

At the conclusion of the meeting it was agreed to set up working groups on both sides to facilitate further co-operation. Chris said that BEIA was very happy and keen to promote international education in China in partnership with Henan University.

After the meeting Hengbing invited Chris and the BIEA team to tour the University, see some of its cultural treasures and get a brief history of its development. Hengbing also shared some of his experiences of life as a student when he studied at Henan University.