Parade Profile: Xiaofeng Liu (MSc Development Studies 1987)

Posted in: Humanities & Social Sciences, Parade profiles, Postgraduate

After graduating from Bath and completing a PhD at Cambridge, Xiaofeng has spent his career in investment and is now a non-executive director for multiple companies in Hong Kong. He tells us about Bath’s warm welcome, his influential lecturers and the benefits of a diverse course...

Image of Bath graduate, Xioagen LiuWhy did you choose to study at Bath?

As the first Chinese student at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1986, I was attracted by the interdisciplinary nature of the master's in Development Studies. The course's comprehensive coverage of politics, sociology and economics, as well as its focus on policy issues in less developed countries, perfectly aligned with my academic interests. While I didn't have a specific path in mind, I knew that the programme would provide me with a strong foundation for a diverse range of careers.


Can you tell us about your experience of studying here? Any favourite memories, or places to go on campus and in the city?

Studying at Bath was a transformative experience. The course director, Edward Horesh – together with Dr Brian Smith and Dr Geoff Wood – was so helpful and inspirational. My coursemates, who were experienced civil servants and officials from ten developing countries, offered me a rare insight into how different nations tackle development issues.

On campus, I enjoyed attending engaging lectures, collaborating on group projects and exploring the scenic surroundings. In the city, visiting the historic Roman Baths and Royal Victoria Park were among my favourite pastimes.


What was your experience as an international student studying in the UK?

I found Bath to be a welcoming and supportive environment that helped me adapt to a new culture, language and academic system. My time at the University was instrumental in preparing me for my subsequent PhD studies at the University of Cambridge.


Describe your career journey since graduating.

After completing my academic studies in the UK in 1993, I joined a merchant bank in the City, and embarked on a 20-year investment banking career. In 2016, I retired from a Chinese conglomerate in Hong Kong as a member of senior management and have since served as an independent non-executive director for numerous companies in various sectors – including energy, financial services, technology and consumer business.


How did your studies help you to develop?

My time at Bath provided me with a preliminary foundation in various disciplines, equipping me with the knowledge and skills to excel in my diverse professional endeavours.

On a personal level, the experience further helped me to develop critical and independent thinking with international and historical perspectives.


What advice would you give to prospective students thinking about studying your course at Bath?

I highly recommend the programme for its interdisciplinary approach and the unique opportunities it offers to learn from and interact with professionals from diverse backgrounds. Embrace the enriching academic and cultural experiences, as well as the support provided by the University, to make the most of your time at Bath.

Posted in: Humanities & Social Sciences, Parade profiles, Postgraduate

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