Development & Alumni Relations Office 


02 November 2016

Queen’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston, is part of a group of Russell Group leaders visiting China to explore future collaboration and innovation.

In the first delegation of its kind eight Vice-Chancellors from the Russell Group – the UK’s 24 leading research-intensive universities – are in China for a dialogue with leaders from the China 9 (C9) – an alliance of nine elite universities in mainland China.

The university leaders have been discussing how best to foster excellence in research, innovation and higher education and considering the benefits of, and opportunities for, collaboration between the Russell Group and Chinese universities. Strengthened relationships and shared approaches to global challenges between UK and China have also been on the agenda.

The delegation also met with some big industrial players in China, such as British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and Chinese consumer electronics business Huawei.

Over the past 10 years, Queen’s has invested over $10m in China-related research in areas such as sustainable energy, information technology, food security and cancer research.

The University currently has 26 active partnerships with key institutions in China. In 2014 it opened its China Queen's College (CQC) in partnership with China Medical University (CMU) in Shenyang.

Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor Sir David Greenaway said: “Our universities are international institutions that thrive on their academic links around the world. They recognise that big scientific, economic and social challenges will only be solved when the best minds work together through global research collaboration.

“I am delighted we are signing this joint statement with our colleagues from the C9. There are huge mutual benefits for Russell Group universities and China’s leading universities to work together.

“By deepening our engagement and sharing our approaches to complex global challenges our universities can continue to lead the world in producing excellent research. An agreement like this, with the C9, represents an exciting opportunity to further the exchange of ideas and knowledge.”

The China 9–Russell Group Dialogue co-chair Professor Jie Zhang, President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said: “C9 and Russell Group represent the best universities in China and Britain which serve as the mainstay of higher education in their respective countries and enjoy high prestige in the world education community.

“I am delighted to see that substantial collaborations between our universities have been successfully carried out in the last few years. The signing of the joint statement is another milestone in the relationship between the two groups and will surely lead to a closer and more fruitful cooperation in the years to come.”

The Joint Russell Group–China 9 Statement covers:

  • Exploring ways to deepen engagement and strengthen existing relationships
  • Sharing information and approaches to addressing complex global challenges
  • Considering opportunities to further facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge

The universities are also planning to work together to secure access to funding schemes that the UK and China jointly contribute to, such as the UK’s Newton Fund for example, as well as the growing pot of research funding available in China. 

Media enquiries to Simon Creer (Russell Group) on 020 3816 1316.

For further information, please contact Claire Kelly, Queen’s University Communications Manager on 028 9097 5391.



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