Junying Kirk: Author, International Partnerships Manager and Blogger

NovelsIn late April, Dr. Junying Kirk from Birmingham City University will deliver two talks at the University of Helsinki. It is time that we introduce Dr. Kirk to our UH community!

Born and raised in Sichuan Province in China, Dr Kirk was educated at Chongqing University and Nanjing University in China, obtaining a BA and a postgraduate diploma in English Literature and English Language Teaching. This was followed by postgraduate studies in a number of UK universities, including University of Warwick, University of Glasgow and Leeds Beckett University.

Dr Kirk has many years of experience in the different sectors of education, both in China and in the UK. She is considered an expert in the participation and cultural adaptations of International students in the UK. As a cultural consultant, she designs and delivers cultural training courses for a number of clients including the University of Nottingham. She is passionate about cross-cultural communications and bridging the gap between the East and the West. She has a strong social media following and her blogs reach out far and wide. (see her blog for more information)

Dr. Kirk has also self-published a modern ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy, faithfully recording many of her personal experiences as an international student and that of many of her fellow immigrants.

Thanks for the support of the Erasmus programme, Dr. Kirk is coming to town in April. Below offers brief introduction of her upcoming two events~~


Time: 25.4.2016 at 14-16

Place: U38 D112 (Unioninkatu 38)

Lecture: Different Routes in Establishing Partnerships in China and Taiwan

Establishing international partnerships is becoming increasingly important and fiercely competitive for high education institutions worldwide, and there is no exception for UK universities. Traditionally British Universities has had an advantage over many of their competitors but the world is changing fast, as the market for international students becomes more mature and sophisticated.

In this presentation, Dr Kirk will give an introduction on the current international market for student recruitment and the significant roles international partnerships play in ensuring successful market share and student experiences. She will share her experiences working as an International Partnerships Manager at a large UK institution and how Birmingham City University is doing in her partnership activities in China and Taiwan.

Common ground and different ways to establish partnerships will be discussed in her presentation. She will cite examples from China and Taiwan, offering insights into the cultural differences and business environments, and recommending good practices and what to avoid. There are challenges in establishing partnerships overseas given the many differences that exist between the East and West, and a number of barriers in terms of language, culture, people and political systems.

The presentation is aimed to be informative, interesting and interactive. There will be opportunities to ask questions and share good practice with colleagues from University of Helsinki.

Meet the novelist event, co-host by East Asian Studies and Confucius Institute, University of Helsinki

Time: 26.4.2016 at 14-16

Place: U38 A205

Lecture: My Journey from the East to the West

In this talk, Junying will share her fascinating experience as an Indie author. She will give a presentation on how she embarked on the long and sometimes difficult journey of writing, publishing and promoting her books.

Prior to her current work as an International Partnerships Manager, Junying worked as a freelance professional interpreter and translator, during which time she completed a modern day “Journey to the West Trilogy”: The Same MoonTrials of Life and Land of Hope. Parts of the stories in her books are semi-autobiographical, recording many of her personal heartaches and triumphs, growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, a very traumatic time in Chinese history. Many of her inspirations came from her interactions with people from different walks of life, especially her many years of working as a Police and Court interpreter.

Her books, since publication on Amazon and other on-line stories world-wide, have received great reviews. Here is what one reviewer said about “Land of Hope”:

“The author has taken a very complex and challenging modern issue, and expertly treated it with a clear compassion and detailed understanding, enabling the reader to discover harsh realities of the brutal and often little addressed issue of human trafficking. It is a book of extremes with characters of ultra confidence and manipulative brilliance, through to the petrified characters often deeply emotionally troubled, due to the nature of their experiences and life’s reflections. The book contains many frightening, unfortunate, and true messages, told with imaginative twists and turns.”

Junying will be delighted to discuss the many ups and downs as an Indie author, what inspired her to write and her future projects in terms of her literary pursuit.