In 2009, the Royal Society of Chemistry signed a cooperation agreement with the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), a division of the Chinese Government. As part of a wider governmental initiative to enhance the global impact of Chinese science and China’s higher education institutions, the RSC and SAFEA provide funding for a Visiting Researchers Programme. This encourages academics from the UK to visit Chinese universities to share best practice, advise Chinese researchers on presenting their research to an international audience and to stimulate collaboration between UK and Chinese institutions.
This blog provides a space for participants to share their experiences and for the RSC to highlight the opportunities that stem from the SAFEA programme.

*The map is reproduced from the United Nations Statistics Division

Local Cuisine - Day 3 - September 14th

Tuesday started with a walking tour of the main campus of Nankai University. This took several hours since the place is much larger than I expected. The university is home to approximately twenty thousand students and the campus is over 1km in length, containing no less than eight separate chemistry buildings spread throughout its length.

I was glad at the end of the tour to escape from the heat and humidity, and return to the main Chemistry Department where I was to give a lecture on some of our recent work on MOF materials with silicon-based connectors. My talk seemed to be well received and there were many questions, particularly from the postgraduate and undergraduate students who all seemed enthusiastic and keen to try their English language skills on me. After talking shop for a while, we then left for lunch at one of the University restaurants where I was again spoilt by the quality and quantity of the food.

Apparently it is common in China for people to go home after lunch for a short nap or siesta. Since I wanted to experience as much of the culture as possible, I also returned to my rooms for an hour’s rest! Two students came to pick me up later and we took a Taxi to central Tianjin for some sightseeing. The city itself is one of the five largest cities in China with a population of over 13 million, and although most of the city is very new and not really on the tourist trail, there are several interesting historic sites and shopping areas and a number of large parks and lakes to stroll around. In the evening we met up with Professor Bu again for dinner at a famous dumpling restaurant (a local specialty). Despite my best efforts to resist I was plied with far too much Chinese ‘white wine’ (actually a 40% spirit!) over dinner, but at least I will sleep well tonight.

Posted by Rob Davies on Oct 25, 2010 10:49 AM Europe/London

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