BEIJING (China) (APP): The first Chinese university to own an overseas branch school, Peking University will open its Oxford campus in 2018. The unprecedented expansion has drawn attention from foreign
universities and media outlets, with many predicting that the move will promote Chinese academic influence around the world, an official of the University confirmed on Friday.
The university HSBC Business School has acquired a medieval campus in Oxford from the Open University in Britain. This purchase marks the first independent attempt by a Chinese university to build and manage an overseas branch school.
Peking University Oxford Center and Shenzhen Oxford Innovation Center will also be built in the near future to serve as a combined platform for innovation and international cooperation on higher education. The bold move comes as the Chinese government steps up its efforts to build globally-renowned universities that lead the world in teaching quality and research.
According to a blueprint released by Chinese authorities in 2016, the country has promised to allocate 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product for research and development by 2020, while several Chinese universities are expected to improve their global rankings to attract more talent.
Several foreign media outlets, including the BBC and The Guardian, have reported on the initiative. Some reports speculate that the bold step will improve Chinese universities international reputation, while others worry that the new Oxford branch may push Chinese ideology on Western students.