Ever wondered what it would be like to head east and discover the hidden beauty of living in exotic Shanghai or the throbbing cultural centre of Peking? Well now you can as more and more British academics are heading out to one of the fastest growing employment areas in Chinese universities. Combined with a trend for many major British and American universities setting up shop in China, there has never been a better time to take the plunge and fill out an application.
More and more well-known British universities now have campuses in China. The University of Nottingham has a campus in Ningbo. The University of Liverpool operates a campus in Suzhou, China, in partnership with Xi'an Jiaotong University, the name of which is Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). There is also the Sino-British joint degree program between Queen Mary, University of London and Beijing University of Posts and Technology. Middlesex University is also preparing to set up shop in China soon.
What this all means is that while many Chinese students flock to UK universities, now traffic is also heading back in the direction of China as the demand increases for highly qualified UK academics.
As with a lot of overseas positions for working professionals, there are many perks and advantages for British academics in China. They typically include:
- accommodation allowance
- travel allowance
- childcare services
- first-class fitness facilities
- generous annual leave
Here are some of the cultural advantages on offer when visiting China. You could take the opportunity to:
- learn Chinese - one of the fastest growing languages in the world
- establish connections with Chinese academics possibly to write a joint paper
- visit some of the great wonders of the world like The Great Wall of China
Many people report that it’s the best decision they’ve ever made relocating to China.
Roger teaches 12 hours per week and has worked for 5 years as a foreign teacher at a Chinese vocational college. “Chinese food and transport can be very cheap.” He said the best thing about living and working in China are the students who are friendly.
Xi Gua teaches writing at Anhui Normal University. He came to China in 2008. “Transportation is alright, since you have several options: train, bus, plane or the bullet train if there's a high speed rail around. I find that the transportation prices are pretty decent.”
James has worked at Hanshan Normal University since 2004. He teaches 16-20 hours per week. “For me, the best thing about living here is the many opportunities for work and for great travel during time off.”
Whatever your academic field is, be it academic management, lecturing, research or course accreditations, in China there’s sure to be something there to suit your skills and experience. Now’s the time to dust off your CV and make a few applications. Who knows, this summer you could be taking a slow cruise down the Yangtze river, and Shanghai is only a glance away!