The British Inter-University China Centre (BICC) is a joint venture between Bristol, Manchester, and Oxford Universities. Funded in the period 2012-14 through the Language Based Area Studies Scheme by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, it is organising a series of research networks and placements, as well as a language training programme.
In its initial phase BICC was funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, the Scottish Funding Council, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as well as the AHRC. In 2006-2012 the centre oversaw the training of a cadre of new postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, as part of a programme of national capacity enhancement in the field of Chinese studies. Chinese language capability lay at the heart of the training programme, and the centre ran teaching programmes and provided opportunities for retooling in Chinese for students without the language. It also ran a Doctoral Training Programme in Old Chinese. The aim was also to produce a body of original research, developed by all members of the BICC, which would then be disseminated both within the academic and wider communities through events, network building, and knowledge exchange initiatives.
These aims remain at the heart of the BICC’s mission in its current phase, as its community of researchers continues to expand, and as its former students move into lectureships at universities across the United Kingdom and internationally. Over the 2012-14 period a programme of research events and knowledge exchange partnerships has been launched with a diverse range of UK and overseas academic, NGO, commercial and governmental partners.
Robert Bickers, Director, BICC