Elite Chinese institution Peking University’s plan to house the new branch of its HSBC Business School in Oxford is now underway after its recent acquisition of Foxcombe Hall, The Guardian reports.
The deal was signed between Peking University and Britain’s Open University last February for the sale of one of the latter’s campuses for GBP8.8 million, a deal that left the sellers with “little room to say no’’.
It beat three other competitors, including an unnamed Oxford college, for the 6.17ha land, which houses a banquet hall, Italian-style gardens as well as a lake.
Peking University said the new school, PHSBC Oxford, will focus on “professional knowledge of China’s economy, financial market and corporate management”.
Actually my school, the HSBC Business School of Peking University in Shenzhen opening near Oxford. No word if I can I leave country to teach https://t.co/cYQAwWj2TD
— Secret Agent Balding 大老板 (@BaldingsWorld) April 5, 2017
PHSBC Oxford’s head said students from the UK, Europe and China could in summer 2018 for a year-long course at the Oxford Campus before heading to China for another year to study about the Chinese economy and to meet Chinese entrepreneurs.
According to Caixin, a respected financial magazine that broke the story, the purchase comes in the wake of the Chinese government’s ambitious plan to boost the rankings of its universities in areas like teaching and research quality. Beijing has handed billions of yuan to Peking University for this purpose, as well as to “improve its international profile”.
“It is our hope the new initiative in Oxford will further strengthen the school’s international reputation as well as its teaching and research capabilities,” president Lin Jianhua said in a statement.
While China’ premier Xi Jin Ping has recently called for Chinese universities to be strongholds of Communist party rule, senior party leaders have routinely sent their own children to study abroad despite having highly-ranked universities on home soil.
Within Peking University’s HSBC Business School itself, more than 90 percent of its teaching staff have a doctoral degree from respectable foreign institutions. In the English-medium school, foreign professors make up 40 percent of its faculty and international students comprise 15 percent of its student cohort.