Sir Christopher Hum, former UK Ambassador to China, at Downlands Community School

Talk Topics: Government & Politics, Cultures & History

Talk Themes: Industry Workings, Life Lessons

Sir Chris Hum

Sir Christopher Hum, former ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, spoke to two groups of students at Downlands Community School about his work as a diplomat in Hong Kong, Beijing, Brussels, Paris, Warsaw and New York as well as his love of languages and his studies at Cambridge University.


The talks with students with Years 7-9 and Years 10-11 respectively in West Sussex ranged from tales of extraordinary events in Beijing and how the embassy supported UK nationals to Sir Christopher’s work promoting UK business interests in China. All of this served to give students a genuine picture of how countries interact and how embassies function, demystifying the work of the civil service, as well as real insights into China as a state.


Students were able to ask questions of the former Ambassador, some prepared ahead of time and some inspired by what he had spoken about. Sir Christopher commented afterwards that he’d especially enjoyed the ‘thoughtful’ questions posed by the younger students, which they’d prepared in advance.


This event at Downlands is a great example of a leading figure opening up the civil service to let students understand how the government really works, drawing on lessons from his own life.