Oxford University opened its brand new China Centre recently amid much fanfare and the presence of royalty. Dickson Poon, from Hong Kong, provided key funding and was present to cut the ribbon. The building is very impressive, a far cry from the run-down engineering facilities I recall as a student. As the building is located on the grounds of one of the colleges, St Hughs, it will readily integrate into student life.

Most importantly, the facility will bring together professors and researchers studying China from across the spectrum of programs in the university – medicine, history, politics, economics, business and more – to allow cross-disciplinary initiatives to develop. Moreover, the Centre should become a focal point for the 900 Chinese students at Oxford and the many hundreds of non-Chinese who are interested in China. Outside of term time, the combination of meeting rooms, social areas and residential accommodation will make the Centre a sought after destination for corporate events.