Who are we?
The British Inter-University China Centre (BICC) was the hub of a joint enterprise of three partner institutions, the universities of Bristol, Manchester and Oxford, and a premier teaching and research facility on China in the UK. The last of three phases of the project (phase 3), was hosted from February 2014- August 2016 at Manchester University in the Faculty of Arts and Cultures, under the Manchester directorship of Yangwen Zheng.
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. 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.
BICC’s mission in its current phase extends the previous work already done in the China Field, through increasing educational links at academic and institutional level, between research bodies, colleges, schools and universities. Knowledge Exchange is a key objective in this phase of the project, both within and external to the academic community. BICC wants to reach outside of academia and to engage with the public and cultural sector as well as maintaining its partnerships and links within the Chinese Studies field. As its community of researchers continues to expand, and as its former students have moved into lectureships at universities across the United Kingdom and internationally, BICC wishes to maintain its teaching and research excellence on all China related matters, with a unique strength in History, Language and Culture, Politics and International Relations, all underpinned by language study. BICC wishes to bring its knowledge outside of a University setting in order to bring its understanding to all corners of society, and to promote interest in China to all sections of the community.
Robert Bickers, Barend Ter Haar and Yangwen Zheng, directors BICC.