In May 2014, Lord Wei, eminent businessman, social entrepreneur and the youngest member of the House of Lords, was kind enough to introduce to CUK a prestigious project which we accepted with great relish. The project involved the Jiangsu City of Huian, whose college was leading on an initiative that Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jing Ping had discussed only months earlier on the President’s visit to the UK.
Working with our good friends and partners at BE Education (Oxford International College), we met with the Party Secretary of Huaian at the House of Lords for a lunch hosted by Lord Wei.
The objective was to create a partnership whereby China could begin to deliver vocational education within its own borders. The UK was not looking to deliver the package in its entirety in China, so after many months of communications and relationship building, Bridgwater College in Somerset and Huain Technical College agreed to deliver on a 2+1 basis, with Bridgwater College helping to deliver their curriculum for two years in China and the final year being completed in the UK. The partners agreed to focus the pilot programme on key market growth sectors in China – Teacher Training, Elderly Care, Early Years Education, and Internet Commerce and Business.
CUK developed this relationship and brokered the deal, which took a year to get to completion. However the result was that both partners achieved their objectives and an agreement worth a significant figure was signed in April 2016.
Additionally, a number of low value short-term projects were agreed so that both partners can knowledge-share, build trust and foster a good working relationship. This element should not be underestimated and CUK is well placed to advise on the best way to approach this. We fully understand that long-term higher revenue projects are more lucrative, but equally for positive cash flow purposes and for forging good relationships, many clients do benefit from the inclusion also of shorter term projects. In this case, CUK was able to facilitate both for our client to the satisfaction of all parties.