Sheffield University is to head a pilot project to help British companies to trade in China.
The Great Ambassador-China programme, established by UK Trade and Investment, will connect British companies with more than 70,000 Chinese-speaking graduates from UK Universities.
It will also consolidate existing alumni networks in China and connect them with UK companies and organisations operating in China.
In time the project will be rolled out to other partner universities who have a significant population of Chinese students.
Sheffield University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said he was delighted that the University would be the host institution for the pilot programme.
Sir Keith said: “The University of Sheffield has a long history of welcoming outstanding Chinese speaking students, with over 4,500 registered alumni in China as of October 2013, and 2,000 Chinese students enrolled as of December 2012.
“We have already seen very real benefits to local business from work placements and the application of cutting edge research to real industrial problems.
The Great Ambassador-China scheme will extend this approach, and will provide long term benefits to our students, employers and the university. Specifically, it will offer excellent opportunities for our Chinese students to acquire valuable employability skills. But the scheme will offer great support to UK companies seeking to develop and expand trade links with China.”
The scheme is among a raft of new trade and investment deals between the UK and China, worth £5.6 billion, announced by the Government.