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University of Bristol holds its first graduation celebration in China

The image of the Suspension Bridge, rendered in QR code

The image of the Suspension Bridge, rendered in QR code

Press release issued: 15 April 2013

More than 200 students from across China will take part in the first graduation celebration of its kind when the University of Bristol brings a traditional British ceremony to Beijing.

The University attracts hundreds of international students every year, including many from China.

Now, to celebrate the success of its new alumni, delegates from the University are hosting a special ceremony on Saturday, 20 April, at the China World hotel.

The graduation celebration will also be an opportunity for past students to reminisce about the British city, with giant photos of landmarks for students to pose in front of and the iconic image of Bristol’s famous suspension bridge, rendered in QR code, stretching across the stage. The design won plaudits for being one of the first in the UK to incorporate QR codes within an image.

A total of 650 alumni, their guests and representatives from the University of Bristol will be present for the ceremony, including the Vice Chancellor Professor Eric Thomas.

Professor Thomas, who is also President of Universities UK, said: “The University is fortunate to have a strong international student body, made up of many high-achieving people from many countries. China is one of these and we’re pleased to be celebrating with our graduates in Beijing. We know our students have fond memories of their time in Bristol so this is a wonderful opportunity to give their friends and family a taste of our beautiful city.”

An honorary degree will be presented to Professor Yang Wei, of Zhejiang University and newly appointed head of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), during the ceremony in recognition of his services to higher education and engineering research in China.

A further two events are being held in Shanghai and Beijing for hundreds of alumni who have studied at Bristol. It’s hoped the events will further cement relations between China and the city of Bristol.

George Ferguson, the first elected Mayor of Bristol, studied architecture at the University of Bristol and is currently a trustee of the Students’ Union.

He said:  "China is a highly important partner for Bristol and I am very pleased that the University, one of the most prestigious in the UK and one which attracts some of the brightest minds from across the globe, is celebrating the success of its Chinese students in this way. I look forward to following up on this visit myself when I come to China later this year to build on our partnerships around culture and innovation."

The University of Bristol will be one of the hosts of a Presidents’ Forum in October, which will see over 25 leaders from some of China’s top universities travel to the UK for a three week programme to discuss issues around how universities work with industry. It will be the fourth Sino-UK Higher Education Forum, organised by the British Council in collaboration with the Chinese National Academy of Education Administration.

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