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University of Sussex to launch major student internship scheme in China

Professor Michael Farthing launches the new Sussex China Internship Scheme in Beijing

A new scheme offering up to 300 University of Sussex students work experience in some of the top companies and industries in major cities in China is being launched this year.

The £750k (7,180,000 CNY) Sussex China Internship Scheme, which is open to undergraduates and postgraduates, is being announced at a business event in Beijing, hosted by the university.

Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said:

“This will be a marvellous opportunity for our students to get a real taste of working in China, one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies in the world. We are also creating more opportunities for our Chinese students to find work placements in the UK.

“Sussex is already ranked fourth highest University in the UK for employability and this scheme demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the brightest futures for our graduates.”

Sussex is the first UK university to be working on this scale with the British Council’s Generation UK internship programme, an initiative supported by both the Chinese and UK governments to encourage greater education and employment links between the two nations.

Carma Elliot, Minister (Culture and Education), Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing, and Director, British Council China, said:

“We are delighted to count the University of Sussex as such a major partner in the Generation UK programme. This collaborative investment in some of the UK’s most talented students will give promising individuals fantastic opportunities to shape their futures by gaining work experience in one of the world’s most attractive and exciting markets. It is a tremendous boost to our shared ambition of setting more UK students on the path to international success and will contribute to enhancing cross-cultural communication and understanding between China and the UK.”

Each Sussex student on the scheme will receive funding of £2.5k towards living expenses for a four-week internship programme with an employer in Beijing or in another major city, such as Chengdu, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen or Zhuhai.

Placements will be offered at companies in a wide range of industries, including accounting and finance, business, engineering, legal, creative industries and pharmaceuticals.

The scheme is initially open to 30 students for 2015, rising to 300 for 2018. A third of the places will be open to international students at the University, such as those from mainland China. The University hopes these placements will be filled by students from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are the first of their generation to attend university.

In addition, the University is increasing its efforts to help up to 100 of its Chinese students find high-quality work placements in the UK by 2018/19.

Through the International Student Internship Scheme, UK companies will take on Chinese graduates from Sussex, for up to one year. The scheme which gives graduates with a Tier 5 visa paid employment, is endorsed by the UK government with the central aim to improve trade links and knowledge transfer between the UK and China.

Professor Farthing said:

“We are extremely proud to have welcomed almost 5000 Chinese students to Sussex. We have almost 1,300 Chinese students currently studying at the university and this number is set to grow significantly in the coming years. Now we can offer them invaluable work experience opportunities in addition to the very best in UK university education.”

The University of Sussex is holding its first ever graduation ceremony in China on the 28 March.  Just over 125 Chinese students who have studied at Sussex will celebrate their graduation at the China World Hotel in Beijing. An honorary degree will be presented to the President of the University of Renmin, Professor Chen Yulu.


Notes for editors:

About the University of Sussex

Founded in 1961, the University of Sussex is among the leading research universities in the UK, with 98 per cent of its research rated as world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised (REF 2014). The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014 rank Sussex as 14th in the UK, 43rd in Europe and 111th in the world. The University works with leading universities in China, including Tsinghua, Peking, Renmin, Nanjing and Beijing Normal University.

Press Office Contact:  Jacqui Bealing. +44 1273 678888


About Generation UK

Generation UK was launched by the British Council in June 2013 to encourage more students in the UK to undertake study and/or internship placements in China. Scholarships for up to a year in a Chinese higher education institution are available, or funded internships for up to two months with a top Chinese company. All UK students aged 18 and over either studying at a UK institution or having graduated within a year are eligible to apply to Generation UK.

There has already been an upward trend of UK students coming to China in recent years, with more than 6,500 UK students studying or undertaking internships in China in 2014. Working with partners in the UK and in China, the Generation UK campaign will boost the rapidly increasing numbers even further, encouraging UK students to come to China and creating even more opportunities for them to do so.

Generation UK video:

Generation UK website:





By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Thursday, 23 April 2015