Development & Alumni Relations Office 


03 December 2018

A China Alumni Association Group has been launched by Queen’s University Belfast at an event in Shenzhen on Saturday, 24 November 2018, during a major visit by the University to the region.

Queen’s, which is the 25th most international university in the world, has more than 2,000 alumni in China – the University’s biggest alumni network outside of the UK and Ireland – primarily in finance, management and process engineering with numbers concentrated in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai.

Professor Ian Greer announced the news on his first visit to China as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University. He commented: “Queen’s is very proud of its strong connections to China. We currently have a vibrant Chinese community of over 1,000 students on campus in Belfast and over 2,000 alumni in China and I am delighted that we now have a China Alumni Association.

“At Queen’s, we have been developing strategic partnerships in China for more than two decades and over the last 10 years have invested $10m in joint research in areas such as sustainable energy, food security and advanced cancer therapy.”

Professor Greer added: “I have seen how our Chinese students not only enrich our University but go on to make significant contributions to global academia, industry and civil society.”

Dr Zhile Yang, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Secretary of the new Association said: “The number of Queen’s alumni in China is growing very rapidly and we are delighted that we have been able to launch the Association at this Shenzhen event.”

Alumni from Queen’s have been making a major impact in China since its foundation. Sir Robert Hart, who graduated from Queen’s in 1853 at the age of 18, went on to become Inspector-General of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs Service. He also helped establish the postal service, lighthouses, imperial navy and meteorological service.

Prior to the event in the Marriott Shenzhen Nanshan, Professor Greer met with the Presidents of the E9 excellence league of top engineering universities in China. At the meeting he discussed the role of universities in contributing to economic growth and development. 

Professor Greer said: “The innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of our alumni have not only helped Northern Ireland to be successful with new start-ups in the UK, they have also contributed significantly to global industry.”  

Queen’s has well-established links with Shenzhen University, the Beijing Institute of Technology and the China Medical University in Shenyang, in partnership with which it set up the China Queen’s College in 2014 and which will see some 1,000 Chinese students studying for Queen’s degrees in pharmaceutical science. Collaborative agreements have also been signed with Shanghai Jiaotong University, Peking University and the Chinese Scholarship Council all of which build upon the University’s existing links in China, including the £2.3 million Science Bridge project.

Queen’s and Southeast University lead the UK-China University Consortium on Engineering Education and Research, which is aimed at building higher education links and helping to improve the quality of engineering research and teaching.

As part of the Consortium Queen’s has developed the Future Leadership and Innovation Academy which is now in its second year and has so far brought together 56 students from 18 different institutions across the UK and China.

The previous week, Professor Greer announced nine further scholarships for joint PhD students between Queen’s and the Consortium’s China partners.

To find out how to get involved with the China Alumni Association please contact the University’s Alumni Relations Manager, Natasha Sharma on +44 (0)28 9097 3135. For more on Queen’s links with China visit the University’s website.

Media enquiries to Communications Office at Queen's University Belfast, on telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5845.


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