Coventry Uni's Shenzhen visit strengthens China-UK automotive ties

Alumni, business leaders and dignitaries from China's education ministry were among the Shenzhen guests

Alumni news

Tuesday 13 November 2018

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Coventry University used its latest visit to Guangdong province in southern China to boost ties with Chinese automotive group Geely, the country's largest private carmaker and owner of Coventry-based firm London EV Company (LEVC) – the maker of the UK's iconic black cabs.

Existing links between Coventry and Geely were reinforced through an agreement – named the "Geely Global Club", and signed during a university-hosted event in the city of Shenzhen last weekend – which will see the organisations work together in areas such as talent development, recruitment and joint research.

Geely Design China's exterior design director and deputy general manager, Ning Huang – an alumnus of Coventry University's world-renowned automotive design course – joined senior representatives from the university as part of the signing.

Zhejiang-based Geely recently announced the establishment of a new design studio in Coventry following its recent acquisition of the famed British marque Lotus Cars, whose head of design – Russell Carr – is also a Coventry University design alumnus.

During the event, which saw over 400 people attend, the university also announced the establishment of a new network for former students – the Coventry University Shenzhen Alumni Association – to support the career development of alumni in the city and the wider Guangdong area.

In a celebration of other Chinese alumni success stories, accolades for excellence and achievement were awarded by Coventry University to (among others):

  • Ning Huang (DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER; GEELY DESIGN CHINA) – in recognition of his design work at Geely.
  • Li Tongtong (PRESENTER; CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION) – in recognition of her work in broadcast media.
  • Audrey Liu (PRESENTER; INTERNATIONAL CHANNEL SHANGHAI) – in recognition of her work in broadcast media.

Coventry also joined forces with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) – which helps British and Chinese organisations to work together – to hold a forum during the event providing advice to students, alumni and companies on the opportunities created for Chinese graduates with a quality UK degree.

Deputy vice-chancellor for international development, David Pilsbury, said:

Our partnerships in China are amongst the most crucial relationships our university maintains overseas. These ties yield ever more opportunities for our students, and our staff, at home and in China. We are committed to ensuring all our students are prepared for the global world of work including through exposure to different social and business cultures. In addition, these relationships benefit our alumni and the businesses we work with, whose talent development needs we continue to support.

We're delighted to be extending and strengthening our ties in China through the agreements we signed in Shenzhen. Our esteemed partner Geely is a global leader in the automotive field with whom a number of our design and engineering alumni have already achieved incredible success. The Geely club platform aims to continue that pipeline of talent from Coventry, but also to support skills development in its workforce.

Geely’s design chief, Guy Burgoyne – also an alumnus of the university – said:

The ties between Coventry and Geely are long and deep. Throughout the brands within our group, there are many of us who have developed our talents in the halls of Coventry University. We're happy to have strengthened our bonds with Coventry and hope to see more Coventry University talents join the Geely family.

Jazreel Goh, Director Education China, British Council, said:

It is fantastic to see Coventry University and Geely further develop their collaboration. Reinforcing their partnership will allow them to continue delivering cutting-edge joint research as well as equipping the next generation of design and manufacturing talent with the skills to innovate and work across cultures.

For further press information, please contact Alex Roache, senior media officer, Coventry University, on 02477655050 or email