Elizabeth is currently a full time student of the history of art, having spent four decades as an educationalist. She began her career as a history teacher and subsequently held senior positions in local education authorities and in voluntary organisations. She has been a board member of educational bodies, universities and educational institutions. Elizabeth has had a long standing interest in China since she first visited Peking in 1981. Between 2001 and 2011, she worked to encourage schools, colleges and universities to teach young people Mandarin and Chinese history and to build partnerships with their counterparts in China. She was responsible for setting up the first schools based Confucius Institute in partnership with Hanban (the Chinese International Office for Mandarin Teaching) and Peking University in 2006. This initiative has been successful in securing a sustainable increase in the number of students studying Mandarin at school. She also worked to support educational cooperation and exchange between the UK and China at national and regional levels to enable the two systems to learn from each other. In 2007 she received the Icebreaker of the Year Award from the 48 Group Club (an independent business network committed to building UK/China trade) and in 2008 she became a Fellow of the Group. She was a member of the Prime Minister’s delegation to China in November 2010. She has held a number of honorary positions with national and provincial education bodies in China and has spoken at conferences and events in China. She believes that it is important to build strong educational, cultural and trading relationships between the UK and China.