An opportunity, not a threat

The British media is showing increasing interest in the impact of the growth of China, the next global superpower, although the focus is usually on Chinese strengths and there is an implicit suggestion that the new world order poses a threat to our living standards. I have yet to see an article reflecting on its impact on education, or one which portrays the growth of China as an opportunity.

I would like to draw to your attention the proactive work in FE to prepare the UK for the new, Chinese-dominated world. Alton College, for example, offers tuition by native teachers in Mandarin, from age 14. Moreover, Varndean College in Brighton, East Surrey College in Redhill and East Berks College in Windsor are launching Chinese language courses aimed at British business executives.

We look forward to working with other organisations to carve a future of prosperity in the region and one in which local people will benefit from the new world order.

Alan Corbett

Association of South East Colleges, The University of Reading

Reading, Berkshire

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