By Sean Gannon
A stronger link between the city of Leeds and China will be forged after two leading universities have announced a new partnership
The University of Leeds has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Shanghai Jiao University, committing both organisations to closer relations on joint research, publications and activities.
The signing of the agreement took place in Leeds this week following a visit by a delegation of senior staff from the Chinese university.
The University of Leeds Pro-Vice-Chancellor: International, Professor Hai-Sui 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 and 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.”
The university has also expressed its commitment to expanding its international reach and opportunities for students from around the world.
It already has more than 32,000 students from around 147 countries, nearly 5,700 of whom come from outside of the EU, with alumni from 186 countries.
Leeds itself has an established Chinese community, with the 2011 Census finding that 5,933 people living in Leeds were Chinese or of Chinese heritage, accounting for 0.79 per cent of the city’s population at the time.
The university hopes that the new agreement will draw more students from China to its doors.