The University of Birmingham has signed an agreement with the Shenzhen-based Southern University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTech), in a partnership that will explore opportunities for research collaboration and a collaborative programme of doctoral studies.
As part of a visit by senior members of the Chinese institution Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, and President Shiyi Chen of SUSTech signed an agreement to develop a split-site PhD programme.
The visit also included a roundtable discussion on education relationships between the University of Birmingham and SUSTech and a tour of the Birmingham Railway Research Centre.
The focal point of the scheme itself will see 20-30 PhD students recruited jointly by Birmingham and SUSTech each year. The students will be registered for a Birmingham degree, spending one year in Birmingham and being supervised by both a Birmingham and a SUSTech academic.
Professor Jon Frampton, Director of the China Institute, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (China) and Professor of Stem Cell Biology, said “We first met with representatives from SUSTech in March, and it was abundantly clear that they represent an ambitious and forward-thinking institution. In the short time since foundation, they’ve shown that they have a pioneering attitude towards higher education and research.”
“It is testament to our growing reputation in China, and presents another exciting opportunity for Birmingham students and researchers to collaborate with peers from across the globe.”
SUSTech is a new university founded by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and led by the Guangdong Provincial Government. In 2012, the Ministry of Education approved the establishment of SUSTech as an innovative pilot for higher education reform in China. SUSTech aims to build itself rapidly into an international university with advanced teaching and research capabilities, and cultivating talents in science and technology catering to market demands.
President Chen said, “International engagement is pivotal to SUSTech’s vision as a 21st-Century global university. I am pleased to know that the University of Birmingham has a long history of collaboration with China, dating back to the very beginning of the last century.”
“We respect Birmingham’s success in high quality teaching and research and we are very happy to be one of the Birmingham’s China partners. Signing this agreement today marks an exciting new era of close collaboration between SUSTech and Birmingham. I believe that through joint PhD supervisions, we can bring together faculty members to work on joint research projects, which will make the partnership solid and lasting. I hope this first effort will grow into broader exchanges and cooperation between our two universities.”