Working with China brings opportunities and investment to Sheffield

An update from University Vice-Chancellor Sir Keith Burnett on how working with China will bring opportunities and investment to Sheffield.

Sheffield City Centre

The Financial Times is a well-known champion of the benefits of international trade. It has led the discussion of this and related matters in important forums around the world. With that in mind, I would like to correct a misunderstanding that seems to have arisen about the role of Confucius Institutes, as I know them.

We in the Northern Powerhouse agree that the only way we can hope to be part of the prosperity that international collaboration and trade bring is to work effectively with partners around the world, including — arguably the present leader in global free trade — China. Part of a nation that prides itself on our skills in innovation, advanced manufacturing and being open to the world, we know that not being fully cognisant of opportunities for trade and investment would be folly.

As a university, we are doing our duty in this regard for industry and commerce in our own Sheffield city region, working with universities and companies in China on innovative technologies for low-carbon electric cars, quantum computing and the high-performance metals used on the Chinese space station.This in turn brings opportunities and investment back to our own region.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield is key to this work. Our award-winning Confucius Institute, along with providing the language teaching to individuals and companies wishing to learn Mandarin, has played an active role in building the local industrial and commercial sectors’ trade and investment ties with Chinese partners and prospective investors and customers. This is warmly welcomed by our local chamber of commerce, city council and local enterprise partnership.

I should add that I would never countenance allowing any government — UK, Chinese or any other — to determine the content of our courses, teaching or research. That is a matter of cherished academic freedom that, as recently emphasised by our minister for universities Jo Johnson, receives 24-carat protection in UK law.

Sir Keith Burnett Vice-chancellor, University of Sheffield and Head of Science and Innovation, Sheffield City Region.



    谢菲尔德大学孔子学院是承担这项工作的关键力量。 我校屡获殊荣的孔子学院,不但为希望学习汉语的公司和个人开班授课,更全力帮助当地工商企业同中方合作活伴、潜在投资者及客户开展合作,受到了本地商会、政府和企业的热烈欢迎。


A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.