Thu 30 Apr 20
The University of Essex has been amazed by the level of support from its Chinese alumni community and partner institutions in China in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many offers of practical support have been received from China since the UK went into ‘lockdown’ in March and the University initiated advanced protection measures to protect its community.
Huaqiao University in Fujian Province in the south west of China sent face masks which have been used by our cleaning and accommodation teams. Meanwhile six Computational Finance graduates have sent face masks which are now being made available to staff and students on Colchester Campus through the SU Store.
Essex Business School student Muxuan Ci has also donated 300 face masks to support frontline staff.
The six Chinese graduates - Yu Zhang, Sissi Wang, Shuai Ma, Ming Shao, Ning Yao and Russell Miao – said they were inspired by a conversation one of them had with Professor Edward Tsang, Emeritus Professor of Computational Finance in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, who taught them all during their studies at Essex.
The friends had to work together to source the face masks, which remain in high demand, and then work out how to ship them to the UK. Now they are looking into sending further face masks to Essex in the future.
They said: “We came to realise UK was suffering a very bad situation as China had experienced two months ago. We care about the university where we spent years studying and living. We want to help as much as we possibly can.”
One of our long-term partners Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) and one of our agents in China Power Academy have also written to say they are sending a consignment of face masks.
We have strong links with many Chinese universities through our academic community and through a series of international visits by our Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster. So far we’ve received letters of support from Dongbei Univeristy of Finance and Economics (DUFE); Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE); Jinggangshan University (JGSU); and Northwest University (NWU) – which delivers a prestigious jointly developed double degree programme with Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.
Director of Estates and Campus Services Chris Oldham said: “Our teams and students residing on campus have benefitted enormously from these generous donations.”
Head of Workplace Health and Wellbeing Lara Carmel said: “We would like to thank our students from China who kindly arranged to have face masks donated to the University. These have been greatly appreciated by students living on campus.”
Director of Advancement Jo Rogers said: “We are so lucky to be part of a global community which cares so much about the University of Essex, our staff and students. We are incredibly grateful for the messages of support we’ve received from around the world including China and the practical support of sending face masks is really appreciated by us all here at Essex.”