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Who benefits from research collaboration with China, and what are the risks? Are the risks inflated or downplayed? Should UK research institutions continue to engage with Chinese counterparts, and if so, how?

To mark the opening of China Week 2023 on China as an education, R&D superpower, experts Simon Marginson (University of Oxford), Sophia Gaston (Policy Exchange), Mark Logan (Member of Parliament), Harry Anderson (Universities UK International), Michael Natzler - chaired by Fiona Quimbre (RAND) - will discuss some of the key questions in current debates on UK-China research collaboration, and examine the role of the UK government, universities, and researchers in balancing the risks and benefits of continued engagement with China.

Join us for this panel discussion followed by a drinks reception with welcome address by Professor Shitij Kapur, President and Principal, King's College London (online) and Professor Kerry Brown, Director of the Lau China Institute. 

*This is an in-person event with a hybrid panel. This event will be filmed. Registration is required.


Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education, and Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education. He researches global and international higher education, higher education in East Asia, and higher education and social inequality. He also prepares reports and commentary in relation to education policy. He is currently working on an integrated theorisation of higher education. He is also a Lead Researcher at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and serves as an advisor and visiting scholar at Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing and at the National Autonomous University in Mexico.

Sophia Gaston is Head of Foreign Policy and UK Resilience at Policy Exchange, and a leading international researcher into strengthening the resilience of advance liberal democracies in the 21st Century. Sophia most recently spent three years as the Director of the British Foreign Policy Group, which under her leadership grew to become a highly respected and influential think tank supporting the advancement of the Global Britain agenda. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an Academic Fellow at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. 

Mark Logan is‌ ‌the‌ Conservative ‌MP‌ ‌for Bolton North East‌. He is the Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ireland and the Irish in Britain. He has two master’s degrees, one from the London School of Economics, and one from the University of Oxford. Before being elected to Parliament, Mark Logan was a diplomat who worked‌ at the British Consulate-General in Shanghai where he was responsible for media and communications. He speaks mandarin and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on China.

Harry Anderson is Assistant Director for Policy and Global Engagement at Universities UK International (UUKi), the body which represents the UK’s higher education sector and supports universities with their global engagement. As Assistant Director, Harry heads up the Policy and Global Engagement (PaGE) team and oversees UUKi’s work across Global Research & Innovation, International Mobility, and Transnational Education. As part of his role, he meets regularly with officials, politicians, and other senior stakeholders. Prior to joining UUK, Harry worked on education and skills policy for a business membership organisation.

Fiona Quimbre is a senior analyst at the RAND Corporation. Working primarily within RAND Europe, she leads the China portfolio. Her work focuses on the non-military dimensions of competition with China and their national security implications for European decision-makers. This includes topics such as China’s interference in the European research enterprise or investments in the energy sector. Prior to joining RAND, Fiona interned at the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. SHe holds first-class degrees with an MA in China Studies and International Relations from Peking University, an MA in International Relations from Sciences Po Bordeaux, and a dual BSc Econ. in Political Science from Sciences Po Bordeaux and Cardiff University.

Michael Natzler was previously Policy Officer at the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) initiating its China programme, publishing the essay collection UK Universities and China (2020) and Understanding China: The study of China and Mandarin in UK schools and universities (2022). Michael also worked as higher education consultant for Nous Group, where he supported universities develop and deliver their institutional and international strategies, and co-led on a detailed analysis of the higher education sector’s financial health for a large pension fund. Michael is currently enrolled on the Yenching Academy's Chinese Studies Masters programme at Peking University, based in Beijing. 

At this event

Kerry  Brown

Director, Lau China Institute

Event details

Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS