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New milestone in relations between the University of Warwick and China

Top students educated in China will be coming to the UK for their PhD studies, after a landmark agreement was established between the University of Warwick and the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech).

The ‘Collaborative PhD Mobility Agreement’ was signed at the University of Warwick campus on Monday August 8, 2016, by Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Stuart Croft, and Professor Chen Shiyi, the President of SUSTech.

This is the first agreement of its type made between SUSTech and a European university.


It will enable specially selected students from SUSTech to enrol on Doctoral Programmes of the University of Warwick, one of the world’s leading research institutions, eventually receiving a doctoral degree from Warwick.

The PhD students will spend the first two years of their training developing their talents at the University of Warwick, followed by another two years at SUSTech, benefitting from a supervisor at each partner University throughout.

Professor Stuart Croft, the University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor and President, is looking forward to fostering links between Warwick and SUSTech:

“Our agreement further strengthens the proud, existing bond enjoyed by the University of Warwick and China – one which will surely continue to grow. I look forward to the exciting opportunities this collaboration will bring to both universities, and am delighted to welcome the PhD students from SUSTech.”

Professor Shiyi Chen, President of SUSTech, believes that SUSTech will benefit from Warwick’s experience: “international engagement is pivotal to SUSTech’s vision as a 21st-century global university, and I am especially pleased with the institutional partnership with the University of Warwick. As a successful young innovative university, Warwick's experience is of great value to us.”

“I believe that the agreement signed today is not only a joint effort for our postgraduate education but also the beginning of substantial exchange and cooperation between the two universities. I look forward to a very fruitful and successful partnership with Warwick,” Professor Shiyi Chen continued.

Resonating with Professor Chen’s words, Professor Xumu Zhang, a SUSTech delegate at the visit and the Chairperson of SUSTech’s Chemistry Department, was invited to give an academic talk at Warwick on Practical Asymmetirc Hydrogenation. More scholarly exchanges between the two universities are expected to flourish afterwards.

The University of Warwick has strong links with China, with a dedicated office in the East Asian country, and more than 1,750 Chinese students studying on its campus in the UK.

Firm connections already exist between the University of Warwick and SUSTech. This Agreement will consolidate and broaden the collaborative research between the two Universities, to the benefit of both.

Professor Jianfeng Feng in Warwick’s department of Computer Science, and Martin Wills in the department of Chemistry, both have professional relationships with their academic counterparts at SUSTech.

The agreement will last for five years, with the first five students expected to arrive at the University of Warwick in 2017.

Notes to editors:

The University of Warwick is ranked the 45th most international university in the world in the Times Higher Education Most International Universities 2016, and is in the top 100 for the QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education World Rankings, and the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities.

87% of Warwick's research is 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (quality level of either 3* or 4*), according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Three of Warwick’s academic departments are ranked number one in the UK for published outputs.

The Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is a public university founded in 2011 in Shenzhen, one of the most prosperous and dynamic metropolises in China. SUSTech is positioned to be a top-tier research university that excels in interdisciplinary research, nurtures innovative talents and delivers new knowledge to the world.

Since establishment, the university has been widely regarded as a pioneer and innovator that catalyses the Chinese higher education reform, and has received world-wide attention as a promising young university of science and technology.

The Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars has ranked SUSTech as the 62nd among the top 100 institutions world-wide for high-quality science. (To learn more about SUSTech, please visit

August 8, 2016

Further information contact:

Luke Walton, International Press Officer

L dot Walton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

02476 150 868

07824 540 863