Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Council Sister City in China: Ningbo

Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have developed links with Ningbo in the Zhejiang Province of China.

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Council & Education Partnerships

True Education Partnership’s programmes not only help to build school profiles but have a significant impact on communities and economies as a whole. It is for this reason that government entities in both the UK and China choose to partner with us.

Our programmes help to bring an influx of international visitors to UK regions, stimulating growth in local business and trade. Over half of Chinese students that visit the UK at high school age consider returning to their sister school’s city for university studies, and those that do bring further economic boosts through the purchase of goods and services during their stay.

Creating Global Citizens

International partnerships create global citizens who are valuable assets to UK businesses at this crucial time of developing trade outside of Europe.

The exposure of students to international study at a young age improves their employability in the modern marketplace, with many showing a greater potential for the acquisition of a foreign language and increased cultural awareness, in turn strengthening local businesses.

Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Council China Sister Cities

Nottingham is twinned with Ningbo and Nottinghamshire is linked with the Zhejiang Province.

Nottingham Ningbo

Nottinghamshire County Council developed international links with Zhejiang to promote trade and investment opportunities and share ideas for approaches to education, health, social care and culture.

Over the last 15 years Nottingham City Council has continued to develop its relationship with Ningbo. The partnership became the first to develop a Five Year Plan to develop closer trade, civic, cultural and educational ties.

We help create Sister City Partnerships through our close ties with the Chinese government. If you’d like help with creating a partnership with China, contact us. TEP manage Council Delegation trips to China to further diplomatic ties between regions.

Nottinghamshire council partnerships

Want to know more about how TEP can support your region’s Sister City Partnerships?

Nottinghamshire Sister School Partnerships

Nottingham and Ningbo’s close international link has been supported by several schools in the Nottingham area partaking in Sister School Partnership Programmes through TEP.

Following a head teachers’ delegation visit, students from Fernwood School took part in a Chinese language and culture workshop run by the Nottingham Confucius Institute (NCI), as well as a series of Mandarin lessons, which were thoroughly enjoyed by both students and staff.

Nottingham schools were later given the chance to first host to their Ningbo sister schools in July 2019, before travelling 5,758 miles to reunite with their friends and participate in an immersive education experience.

We have delivered life-changing experiences for several schools across Nottinghamshire including The Fernwood School, The Joseph Whitaker School and The Nottingham University Academy of Science & Technology Academy (NUAST).

Learn more about creating your own Sister School Partnership with TEP.

Sister City Partnership Process

Partnership Initiation

We plan and launch Council Delegation visits to establish Sister City Partnerships between councils in the UK and China.

Economic Impact

A Sister City Partnership can encourage inward investment and has many bilateral benefits that make a significant economic impact.

Partnership Support

We support existing Sister City Partnerships between the UK and China through business, education and sport.

Education Opportunity

We invite schools to be part of rewarding Sister School Partnerships, which have mutual student benefits for both the UK & China.

Benefits of a Sister City Partnership

The UK and China have a long history of engagement and are now entering a ‘golden era’ of deepening relations between the two countries.

With two thirds of the global population projected to live in cities by 2050, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the needs of urban areas. The academic consensus is that it is getting harder to achieve governance, economic and well-being goals without engaging with partners in the wider international community.

The China International Friendship Cities Association counts 52 formal Sister City Partnerships between Chinese and British cities.

Partnering with a Chinese city has significant measurable benefits such as:

  • Increased city-wide cultural awareness
  • Educational partnerships and developments
  • An influx of business, tourism & trade
  • The sharing of valuable resources and approaches
  • Increased desirability and raised social profile
  • More investment in the local economy.

We have facilitated many Sister City Partnerships, including the iconic relationship between Liverpool and Shanghai, for which we championed the 20th anniversary celebrations in 2019.

The sister link between the two cities is a special relationship which goes back not just 20 years, but 200 years. Cllr Gary Miller, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, says the partnership has had fantastic results in the city, going from strength to strength and offering support for education, health and the creation of local jobs and opportunities.

Links like these have a tremendous impact on a region’s international awareness, bringing social benefits that reach far into local communities as well as across the region and UK.

Nottingham-Ningbo Partnership Past Activity

  • In 2004, University of Nottingham became the first foreign university to establish an independent campus in Ningbo, developed in partnership with the dynamic Wanli Education Group. This later led to the cities becoming twinned.
  • In 2015 Nottingham donated a replica of their famous Robin Hood statue to Ningbo, which takes pride of place in its Cultural Plaza district.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council later signed a landmark Friendship Agreement with Zhejiang in 2016 to promote trade and investment opportunities and sharing ideas & approaches to education, health, social care and culture.
  • Nottingham and its sister city Ningbo reached a historic deal to embark on a five-year agreement to develop closer trade, education and cultural ties – the first of its kind.
  • Later in 2016, the Chinese Government awarded Nottingham City Council ‘Sister City of the Year’ for the links developed with Ningbo.
  • More than 130 delegates from Nottinghamshire firms and the province of Zhejiang met at the first #NottsChina trade summit, the biggest inbound business delegation to the county in 2017.
  • In 2019, a delegation from Nottingham visited Ningbo at the invitation of the local government to attend the Ningbo Industry Fair. This included various representatives of Nottingham City Council as well as a group of local creatives who showcased their work and walked away with various accolades.
  • Ningbo launched its very own Creative Quarter, a hub of creative businesses to mirror that in Nottingham, which will offer free hotdesk space to any Nottingham-based business that wishes to work out there.
  • A total of nine headteachers from Nottingham schools visited China in October 2018 to establish sister school partnerships through TEP.
  • January 2019 saw Fernwood School begin a series of ongoing Mandarin lessons by the Nottingham Confucius Institute, as well as a Chinese language and culture workshop enjoyed by both students and staff.
  • The following summer, Nottingham schools had the pleasure of hosting their sister schools from Ningbo, before making the trip themselves to engage in an immersive learning experience in China.

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