The British International Education Association (BIEA), a not-for-profit educational organisation promoting a British style education internationally, has steadily grown since its inception in the UK 2016. Since then it has been working to build a platform for dialogue and exchange within global education. The main objective has been to support educational practitioners and investors with implementing international education systems. The prime focus of BIEA at present is in early years education and in furthering STEM education and promoting the BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition.

Nikki Collins and Mikky Ho, BIEA Managing Director and Greater China Chairman, visited the CEAIE on the 21st of March. They were warmly greeted by Xuesong Shen, deputy director of CEAIE, and along with Lidong Zhou, Senior Project Manager of CIAIE international co-operation and others, held comprehensive discussions on the development and co-operation between the UK and China in the field of education.

Xuesong explained the function of the CEAIE and its organisation especially regarding educational co-operation and exchanges with China and the rest of the world. CEAIE has been actively promoting these exchanges in the development of education, science and technology internationally via its educational exchange mechanism which was established in 1981. Many departments within the organisation have carried out research and co-operation and cultural exchanges internationally, much with the UK.

Nikki outlined the Early Years League (E-League) project launched in November last year by BIEA in China has been greeted enthusiastically by early years education institutions and practitioners. The BIEA EYFS Co-operative Nurseries of E-League have now been put into operation in China. Many early years educators have been sent to the UK for educational idea exchange and learning. Nikki also explained BIEA’s work in the STEM field. Alongside the BIEA STEM League (S-League), which has attracted the attention of many stakeholders in the field of education in China, the BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition has also received a warm response from schools, teachers, students and parents. Since the start of the competition in January this year, more than 32 countries and regions have registered to take part. Schools in many cities in China have organised teams to participate in the competition.

Xuesong expressed strong interest in the E-League project and said that China’s early years education is at an innovative stage. The establishment of the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework can be used for reference in China’s early years education development. The BIEA E-League accreditation and evaluation system are of great reference value. She then gave an account of the annual teacher-training activities organised by the CEAIE.
Nikki said that the BIEA Vocational Education Training activities and the overseas edition of the British Continuing Professional Development (CPD) manual, have a similar development model to the teacher-training activities of the CEAIE. At present, BIEA has organised many teacher training activities in China with EYFS at the core of the teaching model. The vocational training system in the UK is very mature. The principals and teachers in the UK have to accumulate certain hours of vocational training every year to ensure they stay at their professional level. BIEA CPD training overseas edition, which has drawn the essence of the British education vocational training and takes account of the overseas education market environment, is a British training system designed to have high integration and applicability in the international market.

The two parties agreed that, although there are differences in education between China and the UK, the intention and fundamentals of education are very similar in their aims and the purpose of teacher vocational training. The two sides reached a consensus on the promotion of educational exchanges, cooperation and development between China and the UK. Taking this opportunity we hope to open the door of co-operation while deepening our friendship and create a better future for China and the UK in the field of international education.