China experience for lucky students

15 August 2008 – for immediate release

After fighting off stiff competition from students across the UK, five lucky undergraduates from Aston University have been selected by a government department to take part in a prestigious study programme in China.

A few days before the Olympics draws to a close, the group will be jetting out to China for a three week subsidised study experience alongside 200 other students from across the UK. The Study China Programme, which is funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) will allow the students to visit the cities of Hangzhou (capital of Zhejiang province) and Jinan (capital of Shandong province) to explore Chinese language, culture and history.

Over a three week period, the students will take classes in subjects as diverse as Tai Chi, kite making, Confusianism (an ancient Chinese philosophy), the Chinese economy and calligraphy alongside trips to businesses, cultural excursions and an intensive language programme. Accommodation, food and all activities and tuition have been funded by the government. Aston University have raised funds to contribute to the cost of the students’ flights.

All of the students are about to enter their final year at Aston after completing their work placement years in the UK and abroad.

Neel Makwana, one of the participating students, French and Economics Combined Honours, said: “We’ve been talking about the trip with other students online and I can’t wait to learn some more about the country. I hope to pick up some Chinese and then travel around the country for a few weeks.”

Andrew Plant, International Officer, Aston University, added:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for these students – particularly as this is their first visit to China. China is one of the fastest developing countries in the world and the country’s significance in the international marketplace is crucial. As business and logistics undergraduates, our five students are all hoping to pick up information that will help them complete their degrees and understand the scale of Chinese commerce.”

Part-time Mandarin language programmes – at a variety of levels – are available at Aston University from this September. Visit www.aston.ac.uk or telephone 0121 204 4444 for more information.



Notes to editors

Photo caption – Aston University’s luck five – on their way out to China next week. From left is Neel Makawana 21, Ben Wilson 21, Oneke Whitter 21, Komal Lalwani 22, Rudolfs Veiss 23.

For more information contact Laura Plotnek, University Communications Team, Aston University on 0121 204 4549 or l.plotnek@aston.ac.uk.