LONDON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- About 150 Chinese academics and professors working at top British universities gathered Sunday at the Chinese embassy here to celebrate the Chinese New Year, during which they agreed to facilitate and enhance UK-China cooperation in educational and research sectors.
Professor G.Q. Max Lu, vice-chancellor of University of Surrey, told Xinhua that overseas Chinese academics should give full play to their advantages to promote the exchange between China and the West.
As a world-renowned academic, Lu joined Surrey as president and vice-chancellor in 2016, becoming the very first Chinese principal in Britain's higher education history.
Born to a poor Chinese family in northern China, he caught up with the opportunity of China's reform and opening up since late 1970s and went abroad for study.
"University education changed my life and gave me more opportunities to help change other people's lives," he said, "I believe every academic elite present here today is also bringing changes to young people's lives and even the whole world, through their teaching and study. We are the lucky ones in this great era, and we are the beneficiaries of China's reform and opening up. We should do our best to work as a bridge and ambassador for the exchange between China and the West."
Currently, there are over 6,000 Chinese scholars working in more than 150 British universities, with over 500 professors and several fellows, said Wang Yongli, minister counselor for education of the Chinese embassy in the UK. But only 20 years ago, it was hard to find even one Chinese professor in the UK, Wang said.
Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming hailed the professors' academic achievements in Britain, expressing the wish they would continue contributing to the development of China as well as to enhance China-UK educational cooperation.
He encouraged the Chinese academics in Britain to continue fostering young talent, promoting the establishment of innovative science and technology centers, building joint laboratories, conducting cutting-edge scientific cooperation research and participating in China's national talents schemes.