Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

New China-UK joint engineering school

The Institute is playing a key role in a pioneering new school, being formed between the University of Leeds and China's Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU).

The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School, based in Chengdu, China, will offer a unique UK-Chinese engineering curriculum and is the first overseas school to be set up by the University of Leeds. 

The joint school will initially offer four undergraduate degree (BEng) programmes, with ITS co-developing and co-delivering a new BEng Civil Engineering with Transport programme. Teaching will be delivered by a combination of Leeds, SWJTU and newly recruited Joint School staff, with students having the opportunity to earn dual degrees - from both Leeds and SWJTU.

Students will primarily follow the Leeds syllabus in the English language, but also take additional SWJTU courses to earn the dual degree qualifications.  Although many students will spend the whole of their four-year courses in Chengdu, where they will be given intensive language education, some students will study for one or more years in Leeds.

The new school will recruit 1,200 of the brightest high school students in China over four years and enable the University of Leeds to tap into a key market that could develop some of the academics and industry leaders of the future. University of Leeds students based in the UK will also have the opportunity to attend the joint school in the coming years, and the universities plan to extend the partnership to include collaboration on postgraduate education and research.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the joint school following its formal launch in Chengdu: "This partnership will cultivate global talent and build strong connections between the UK, China and other parts of the world, addressing future skills requirements and opening up new research opportunities.

"For this reason, the school will not only benefit Chinese and British students, providing them with a unique experience as they access an enhanced curriculum and study abroad, but also the business community and the wider economy in China and the UK."

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Leeds, said: “Leeds excels in engineering and we want to build our international reach and profile by working in powerful combination with SWJTU, which has particular strengths in transport-related engineering. This school enables us to do just that in a key market.

“It means the brightest students will benefit from the very best of Chinese and British higher education, giving them the distinctive edge to compete on the global stage and providing Leeds with links to some of the very best future engineering talent in China.”

President Xu Fei, from SWJTU, said: “The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School is committed to nurturing innovative talents and future leaders, with international competitiveness and cross-cultural leadership.”

Image information 
President Xu Fei (right), of Southwest Jiaotong University, and Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-chancellor of The University of Leeds, shake hands at the launch of the The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School in Chengdu, China on 30 October, 2015.
Further information 
For further information about the Institute’s contribution to the joint school, please contact Dr Frank Lai.