University explores partnership with global broadcaster

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Birmingham City University is in talks to form closer ties with China’s largest national broadcasting network, China Central Television (CCTV).

It follows a visit to its English news channel’s headquarters in Beijing by Senior Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism, Bob Calver. 

CCTV has a network of 50 channels and is accessible to more than one billion viewers. On air since 2000, CCTV News is China’s first all-English television station and broadcasts around the clock. 

The meeting in Beijing on Monday 14 November was arranged after CCTV News Head of Human Resources Ye Li visited Birmingham School of Media, part of Birmingham City University, in the UK earlier this year.

Broadcast Journalism

Birmingham City University

She had been recommended to take a look at the state-of-the-art studio facilities in the institution’s £62 million Parkside broadcast centre, which boasts Europe’s largest static green screen. 

Bob Calver, Senior Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism, Birmingham City University, said: 

“The idea of co-operation was discussed during Ye’s visit when she met our Head of School, Professor Philip Thickett, Professor Diane Kemp and myself to talk about a number of plans which CCTV News is working on. 

“Ye and I agreed that when I was in China I should visit CCTV to take our discussions forward. She arranged a meeting with the channel’s Deputy Controller, Liu Ge, and with Marcus Ryder from CCTV Digital.” 

Potential areas for future co-operation include student internships at CCTV News in Beijing and its other bureaux, employment opportunities for Birmingham City University journalism graduates and even collaboration on documentary production. 

After the meeting Liu Ge, Deputy Controller, CCTV News said: 

“For sure, our two organisations have a lot of potential to co-operate in different ways and forms in the future.” 

Birmingham City University enrolled its first student from mainland China in 1991 and now has over 5,000 Chinese alumni, with many holding prominent positions in the media. 

Bob is in China for two weeks in November to speak at a number of universities that have links with Birmingham City University and deliver lectures to students on the topic of ‘Changes, Challenges and Champions’, which considers the future of journalism.     

As well as stops in Beijing, Xi’An, Hangzhou and Chengdu, Bob will visit Wuhan, which is home to the newly opened Birmingham Institute of Fashion and Creative Art (BIFCA). A partnership between Birmingham City University and Wuhan Textile University, it is the first non-profit, Chinese-foreign cooperatively run educational institution in Hubei province to offer undergraduate programmes. 

In September, BIFCA welcomed its first intake of 280 students, who all secured a place at the Institute through the Chinese ‘Gaokao’ system with an average score of 570.

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