"The SWJTU-Leeds Joint school is an excellent example of this collaboration and bring together two leading universities. 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." These inspiring words are from David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in his congratulation letter to the launch of SWJTU-Leeds Joint School.
The Launch Event was held on October 30th. It was witnessed by Sir Alan Langlands, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds; Dawn Long, the Director of Chongqing Office, Cultural and Educational Section British Embassy; Liu Xiaochen，Deputy Secretary of the Working Committee of Education, Sichuan Provincial Party Committee of CPC; Xu Fei, President of SWJTU.
Yan Qipeng, the Dean of the joint school, presided over the event.
The Sino-UK relationship has been on the rise over the past few years. Most importantly, President Xi's state visit to U.K. last month will comprehensively strengthen the bilateral relationship and lay a solid foundation for what both sides are calling a "golden age". As a boost to Sino-UK culture exchange, expanding the cooperation in higher education will further the understanding among the people of both countries, and a better Sino-UK partnership is expected to be forged through such a substantial cooperation.
“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,” remarked Sir Alan Langlands.
“The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School is committed to nurturing innovative talents and future leaders, with international competitiveness and cross-cultural leadership,” said Xu.
Professor Peter Jimack, Dean of Engineering at The University of Leeds, said: “Our students will have a thorough technical education but, in addition, will follow a curriculum designed to develop their independent problem solving skills, abilities to collaborate effectively in international teams, and present technical material in written and spoken English. They will be uniquely prepared for the realities of working in international industry and research.
“Although the initial focus will be on our students based in China, the school will follow the same curricula that we have developed in Leeds, so we anticipate that UK-based students will also spend time studying in China to benefit from the joint-school’s great strengths.”
Yan underscored the strategic significance of the launch of the joint school in the news conference. “We are confident and determined to develop SWJTU-Leeds Joint School into a world-class brand of high education,” said Yan.
Both national and local news agencies, such as Xinhua News Agency, China News Service, China Daily, Sichuan Daily and Sichuan television, have attended the news conference.
SWJTU-Leeds Joint School will start to recruit its first cohort of students in 2016 and will initially deliver the four programs of Mechanical Design, Manufacturing and Automation, Electronic Information Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, and Civil Engineering. All the courses including the moral education will be delivered in English.
The program is to be delivered in the mode of “4+0” for the award of Bachelor’s degree. Upon the completion of the courses, student will be awarded Graduation Certificate and Bachelor’s Degree by SWJTU and BSc degree by Leeds.
The University of Leeds has one of the largest faculties of engineering in the UK and is investing over £125 million in the construction and redevelopment of its engineering and physical sciences buildings and infrastructure over the next four years. It offers an outstanding student experience. A recent league table in The Guardian newspaper ranked Mechanical Engineering 1st in UK, Electronic & Electrical Engineering 5th and Civil Engineering 6th. The University’s Computer Science and Aeronautical Engineering teaching are both ranked 1st among the research intensive Russell Group universities for Overall Student Satisfaction (NSS 2015). The School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering was among the top ten performing research departments in any subject in any UK university in the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, with the schools of Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering ranked 7th and 4th respectively in their units of assessment.