Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A look at education and the BRI

April 25, 2019


As the 2nd Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing, much renewed attention has been given to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and how it might evolve in the future. Over the past several months, Venture has spent a lot of time researching into how the education sector has been involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and where and how the UK could get involved.  



Our key findings include:

  • The BRI is increasingly not based on geographical routes but becoming almost a catch-all term for Chinese trade policy abroad.
  • Up until now, education projects in the BRI have primarily been focused on TVET and higher education collaboration, but other areas, such as K-12 international schools, have seen growing levels of interest.
  • Girls’ and women’s education and entrepreneurial education are growing areas in the MoE’s work towards ‘achieving common development’.
  • Opportunities for third party involvement from the UK exist in the greater proportion of the 100+ countries involved in the BRI.
  • The UK has a particularly strong track record with TVET and TNEs.  Currently the UK has TNE partnerships in all but 14 countries worldwide.
  • The UK’s global reputation for curriculum, qualifications, higher education and training have made these particularly strong areas for current and future collaborations.
  • Although involvement in many educational areas is already underway, and projects involving student exchanges and TNE partnerships in particular are in some cases well-advanced, the potential scope for future projects is vastly greater and could lead to a meaningful boost for the UK education industry
  • The UK could have a significant role to play in ensuring ethical standards and assuring quality in BRI projects – and helping to further the ambitiously positive development goals intrinsic to China’s BRI narrative.


To find out more, see BritCham China’s ‘Education on the Belt and Road’, released in tandem with Venture Education and released in both Chinese and English.

The English version of the report can be found here.

The Chinese version of the report can be found here.

A look at education and the BRI

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