Building closer relations with leading Chinese university

The University has strengthened its relationship with Shanghai Jiao Tong University through an agreement to co-operate on joint research projects.

Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands and SJTU's Professor Zhang


Leeds and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.  The agreement commits both organisations to increasing co-operation on:

  • joint research and publications
  • joint activities, such as conferences
  • staff exchanges.

Students from both countries will also benefit from the relationship.  Possibilities for joint courses and exchanges will add to the student experience and international ethos of both universities.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) is part of the China 9 alliance of elite institutions. This week’s agreement enables both sides to expand their joint activities for mutual benefit and, in the spirit of academic co-operation and friendship, to achieve long-term collaborations with global impact.

The two universities already co-operate in a number of areas, including student exchange, with Leeds University Business School.

The new agreement, signed by Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands and Professor Jie Zhang, President of SJTU recognises the common strengths of the universities in engineering and science and enables further collaborations in the humanities.

Academic staff in relevant schools at both universities will now work together to identify areas of mutual interest which could be developed into areas of collaboration in the near future.

The agreement was signed in Leeds this week following a visit by senior SJTU staff to the University. It reciprocated a visit made by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor: International, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, to China in October when he visited SJTU and met with Professor Zhang.

Professor Yu said: “Creating strategic partnerships with world-class universities around the globe is integral to enhancing Leeds’ global outlook and international reputation. Building an environment where our respective academic staff can work more closely will lead to an improved education for all students and also to higher quality research programmes contributing to our shared understanding and transformation of the world.

“Shanghai Jiao Tong University is rapidly developing into a world-class university. We already collaborate on student exchanges and research activities so I am pleased we have been able to further strengthen our relationship and deepen our collaboration through this Memorandum of Understanding.”

During the Chinese delegation’s visit, Professor Zhang also gave a lecture to senior Leeds staff.  He described how SJTU had developed during the last decade under his leadership.

In addition to building relations in China, the University has committed to increasing its international reach and opportunities for students from around the world. Among the current student body, almost 8,000 are from outside the UK.  These include exchange, language and degree programme students.

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