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Birmingham and HUST join forces in China to develop a dual degree programme

Senior leaders from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) visited the University of Birmingham to progress a major international partnership that will see Chinese students securing dual degrees in Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.

Delegates from the university in Wuhan, met with their Birmingham counterparts to begin detailed planning around the new Joint Educational Programme – a landmark agreement that combines each university’s excellence in these study areas.

The Chinese delegation included HUST Vice President Jianguo Chen and Professor Tongbo Wu and Dr Yan Li from the HUST School of Pharmacy as well as Professor Xiaohu Ge, Vice-Dean International of HUST’s School of Electronic Information and Computing, and Professor Bien Tan, Dean of HUST’s School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, and several Professional Services colleagues supporting the project development.

As well as meeting Professor Adam Tickell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, senior academics from each university discussed the details of how the new Joint Education Programme will build on a two decade-long partnership between the two universities to provide a high-quality learning experience for students in China.

Professor Adam Tickell commented:

“We are honoured to welcome our distinguished guests from one of The University of Birmingham’s oldest and most valued partners in China, as we forge ahead with this latest exciting joint venture.

“This important visit allows our partners to work with colleagues in Birmingham and visualise how this landmark project can be delivered efficiently and effectively to provide students with an educational experience of unparalleled excellence.

“We are hugely excited about this new era of close collaboration between our two universities, which marks an exciting period of expansion to create further opportunities in education, research, and exchange.”

The visitors from China toured the University’s College of Medical & Dental Sciences before meeting Birmingham academics to discuss how the two study programmes will be set up, ahead of the first students beginning their studies in September 2024 – subject to approval from the Chinese Ministry of Education.

HUST Vice President Jianguo Chen commented:

“HUST has always valued our partnership with the University of Birmingham and the last 20 years have witnessed our joint efforts in building platforms for mutual learning among our faculty, students, and young scholars.

“Even the pandemic did not interrupt our communication and our key partnership agreement, signed in 2021, further strengthened our vision for development and mutual commitment. Our Joint Educational Programme for undergraduates in Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences marks a new milestone of collaboration between our two universities.

“As civilizations are enriched by exchanges and mutual learning, I sincerely hope that we two universities continue to uphold the spirit of openness, mutual learning, and mutual benefits, conduct exchanges and collaboration in innovative talent training and high-level scientific research, and jointly contribute to the development and progress of society.”

The undergraduate dual degree programme will be delivered in Wuhan at HUST’s new international campus.

Over 500 HUST students have already benefited from the two universities’ links – studying engineering and biosciences in Birmingham under existing articulation programmes. From 2016, the medical colleges of each university established academic staff and student exchanges, with highly successful collaborations between respective schools of Nursing and Dentistry. 

In 2018, the two universities held a young researcher symposium in Birmingham, which saw postdoctoral students and junior lecturers from HUST meeting their contemporaries in Birmingham to share research results and ideas in biomedical science.

This new transnational education project further extends the University’s ambitions for in-country delivery of education in China, building on the success of the Jinan University-University of Birmingham joint institute (J-BJI), which has graduated almost 300 students over the last two years.  

Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (China) commented:

“We have had excellent and productive discussions with our friends from HUST, which will prove invaluable as we work towards delivering high-quality biomedical and healthcare education with a global impact.  The new Joint Education Programme will provide Chinese students with skills that are highly sought after by international graduate employers.”

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