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Chinese Government confers high profile medal to Northumbria professor

21st May 2015

A prestigious Chinese government accolade has been awarded to an academic from Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University.

Professor Yu Xiong has received the coveted May 4th Medal which is presented to outstanding individuals under the age of 45 who have created significant impact to society.

The awards, which are similar to the British Honours system, are conferred for five classes, in descending order of seniority – national, provincial, city, county and town.  This award is jointly given from three Chinese government departments: Chinese Organization Department, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the Communist Youth League. Professor Xiong received a provincial class medal from Chongqing Government.

There were more than 2,000 nominations from different sectors of society, and Professor Xiong was one of just ten people selected by the Chongqing Government from a population of 32million to win the accolade at provincial level.

As well as being the only university academic of all ten winners, he was also the only person working and living outside of China to receive the honour. Professor Xiong is also the only Chinese academic in the UK to receive the May 4th medal at a provincial level or higher.

Professor Xiong, Chair of Technology and Operations Management at Newcastle Business School, said: “The May 4th Medal is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious and significant accolades, so I am truly honoured to accept it.

“Northumbria University has tremendous links with China and indeed attracts students from all over mainland China to study a range of subjects, from accountancy and finance to design, engineering and many more.

“We have country representatives all across China including in Chongqing and I hope that this award will help to put us on the map for even more Chinese students.”

Professor Yu Xiong is a core member of the China UK Innovation Expert Group run by the UK department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was one of the only two Chinese academics in the world to be torchbearers for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Executive Dean for Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School, said: “The Business School has much to offer international students, and through academics like Yu Xiong we are raising our profile and presence in China. We congratulate Yu on his achievement.

The medal was presented by Mr. Guoqing Zhang, Deputy Governor of Chongqing, on behalf of the Politburo member of China and governor of Chongqing, Mr. Zhengcai Sun.

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