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March 2018

China concerned for its students over UK university strikes

The Chinese embassy in London has voiced concerns about the impact of UK university strikes on Chinese students, writes Federica Tedeschi.

Academic staff at more than 60 universities all over the country have been protesting over proposed cuts to pensions, estimated to amount to around £10,000 per person per year in retirement.

Chinese students make up nearly a third of all non-EU learners enrolled at universities in the UK, according to figures released in 2016/17.  They pay £20,000 in fees per year – double that of local students - and the embassy fears Chinese students’ learning might be adversely affected by the recent walkouts.

The Chinese embassy has released a statement declaring it would maintain contact with the UK’s Department for Education to ‘ensure the legitimate right of Chinese students studying in Britain’.

The embassy called on its students studying in the UK to pay close attention to the latest updates about the strike, and make any demands through legitimate channels to protect their rights and interests, according to the Chinese government’s Xinhua news agency.

So far, 65 universities have joined the strike over pension cuts that started last week, the University and College Union said on Monday. 

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