Unique partnership with Chinese TV company for school for 2,000 students
Cardiff Metropolitan University has announced plans to develop a major media and communications school in the Welsh capital.
The new school is a unique partnership with Phoenix Education, a subsidiary of leading Chinese television company Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings, and has been endorsed by City of Cardiff Council.
It is the first joint venture of its kind with a private firm and a Welsh university.
The three parties today signed a memorandum of understanding at the Mansion House, Cardiff, confirming their commitment to developing this project. The location of the new school is yet to be decided, but the ambition is for a new building housing a TV media centre, teaching space and student accommodation that could house up to 2,000 students.
Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings is a New York and Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company which has six channels broadcasting to 360 million viewers worldwide.
Phoenix Education has four media colleges in China - Communication University of China located in Beijing, Xihua University located in Chengdu, Suzhou University located in Suzhou, and South China Normal University located in Guangzhou.
Cardiff Metropolitan's President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Antony J Chapman said: "I'm thrilled to be signing this Memorandum of Understanding between Cardiff Metropolitan University, City of Cardiff Council and our key strategic partner, Phoenix Education.
"I'd like to record my thanks to City of Cardiff Council for its proactive and enthusiastic engagement on this project, and for hosting us today. I'd also like to thank Phoenix Group's leadership for their vision, ambition and innovation with this project. The potential is enormous.
"At Cardiff Met we are focussing on developing key strategic and in-depth partnerships that bring mutual benefits to all parties and bring a range of benefits to students, staff and the wider community.
"As you will be aware, we at Cardiff Met are extremely proud of the range of international work that we carry out here in Cardiff and beyond.
"Having an office in China has provided us with a platform for the development of this partnership which is unique, incorporating Cardiff Met and City of Cardiff Council in an innovative proposal to develop the Cardiff Met Phoenix School of Media and Communications.
"This project is looking to attract considerable inward investment to the City and is the first scheme of its kind in Higher Education in Wales, and possibly in the UK.
"This is an ambitious project underpinned by an innovative financial model. It's taken a great deal of effort to get to this stage. Now that work will continue, to make our collective vision a reality."
The CEO of Phoenix Education Mr Wu Weiqiang said: "The Phoenix Group's leadership attach great importance to forging co-operation between Cardiff Metropolitan University and City of Cardiff Council.
"The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding signifies the importance of this venture to the Phoenix Group and we are looking forward to working together on this exciting and innovative project.
"The relationship between China and Wales has gone from strength to strength over the years and this partnership provides a significant opportunity to build further cooperation between the two countries."
Dr Wenguang Shao, Managing Director of Phoenix Chinese News & Entertainment Channel (PCNE) based in London, and head of the European operations of Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings, the parent company of Phoenix Education, represented the organisation at today's signing.
He said: "Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings and its subsidiary Phoenix Education are thrilled to be working with Cardiff Metropolitan University and the City of Cardiff in this transformative project.
"The Phoenix-Cardiff Met School of Media and its related student accommodation will attract the brightest and best in the IT and creative Industry sector to Cardiff."
Phil Bale, Leader of the City of Cardiff Council said: "The signing of this Memorandum Of Understanding is great news for Cardiff, the Cardiff City Region and Wales.
"To attract interest from Phoenix is a great coup for Cardiff Metropolitan University and the city of Cardiff. We are
delighted that we now have a framework in place with which we can together identify key priorities for the City which meet all of our objectives.
"With total outbound investment from China, forecast to rise six fold from its 2013 level to $600 billion dollars by 2025, this is a market we cannot ignore, particularly when faced with a 26% rise in the City's population and the need to invest in much needed infrastructure to support this growth.
"To my knowledge, this is the first time a leading Chinese business has entered into such an agreement with a city in the UK. This reflects the development and growth potential of our capital city and its region, the stability provided by the UK economy and the opportunity to work with an innovative University like Cardiff Met."
The cost and timescale for the development is not yet determined.