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A decade of engineering

The University of Leeds and Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) have marked the 10th anniversary of a Joint School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The Joint School in Chengdu is a successful partnership between Leeds and SWJTU which provides world-class teaching and research.

Since its inception, the Joint School has offered degrees in engineering and computer science with five cohorts of students graduating. More than 75% of these graduates go on to postgraduate study – almost 95% of them at QS World’s top 100 universities and 41% at top 20 institutions.

The Joint School, the university’s first, now runs five undergraduate courses and has recruited more than 2,000 students.

Both universities are exploring new ways to broaden and deepen our partnership in student education, improve student experience and employability, and increase research collaborations to address global challenges, such as climate change.”


Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Leeds.

To celebrate the milestones achieved by the partnership, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Leeds, visited SWJTU to preside at a graduation ceremony for Joint School students and celebrate the decade’s achievements.

He said: “In 2014, we were honored to join hands with our strategic partner SWJTU to establish the Joint School of Engineering and Computer Science.

“Today, it provides world-class student education that combines the research expertise and teaching strengths of our two universities.

“Both universities are exploring new ways to broaden and deepen our partnership in student education, improve the student experience and employability, and increase research collaborations to address global challenges, such as climate change.”

The graduation ceremony celebrated the achievements of those in the first graduating cohort from June 2020, who were unable to celebrate their graduation during the covid-19 pandemic, as well as recent graduates. Professor Yu and Professor Nora de Leeuw, Executive Dean of the University of Leeds and the Joint School of Engineering and Computer Science, jointly led the graduation of the fifth cohort of Joint School students.

Sun Jingwen, a graduate student in Civil Engineering from SWTJU Leeds Joint School, said: “In addition to good professional quality, teaching in the Leeds system focuses on cultivating our fluency, expression, strong self-learning skills and practice.

“During my four years of study, our common school gave us an excellent training platform, so I participated in many competitions such as the Internet+ Innovation Competition, which received good rankings and laid the foundation for applying to schools for future studies.”

Jingwen will now study civil engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai, which is ranked second in China and 16th in the world for that subject by QS.

A student receives his degree from Professor Hai-Sui Yu.

At a reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary, the British Consul-General in Chongqing and Southwest China praised the achievements of the Joint School at local, regional and global levels.

Anthony Preston said: “Higher education collaboration is one of our top priorities, with a focus on two-way mobility, transnational educational partnerships and research collaboration.”

He referred to the fact that the Joint School had been invited to share its best practice at a number of events, including last month’s UK-Chengdu-Chongqing HE Development Forum, jointly supported by the British Council; Last September’s UK HE Mission to China, which was co-organised by the British Council, UK Research and Innovation and Universities UK International; and the Going Global Conference organized by the British Council in Glasgow last November.

As part of the week’s activities, both institutions signed a supplementary agreement, demonstrating a joint commitment to the future of the joint school and the provision of two new undergraduate programs.

This visit highlighted the University of Leeds’ ongoing work with SWTJU, following the recent spotlight on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) modules, where students from both universities work together to translate texts during online meetings, discussions and break out groups.

Also during the trip, Professor Yu and other colleagues from the Leeds delegation participated in a Forum on Sino-Foreign Cooperation in Running Schools (CFCRS) in the Chengdu-Chongqing area. The forum helped to showcase the work of the SWJTU-Leeds Joint School over the last 10 years and facilitated further development and collaboration in higher education among the organizations represented by attendees.

While in the Far East, Professor Yu and colleagues also hosted a successful event in Hong Kong for alumni, donors and other supporters of the university, sharing news from the university, including strategic goals and recent achievements in global rankings. They enjoyed meeting 80 graduates who studied at Leeds as far back as the 1960s. The Principal also met Brian Davidson, the British Consul General in Hong Kong, and senior British Council leaders.

More information

For more information, please contact Rebecca Hurrey at [email protected] at the University of Leeds Press Office.

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