Birmingham signs rail agreement with top Chinese university

The University of Birmingham today signed an agreement with Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) for research experts to work together on developing technology to help make railways safer and more efficient.

Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCCRE) is a world leader in railway research and education, whilst BJTU is a prestigious Chinese university with a particular strength in railway engineering.

Both universities will continue their successful partnership and strengthen education links that will allow Chinese rail engineering students to study at Birmingham, benefitting from the University’s expertise – particularly in railway control and safety.

University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood joined Professor Bin Ning, President of BJTU, to sign the agreement at a special ceremony in Beijing.

VC Ning Bing BJTU signing 2017 2

Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “This agreement with Beijing Jiaotong University marks the start of even closer collaboration between our two universities on railway research. This will ultimately benefit communities in China, Britain and across the world.

“Our partnership is testament to our growing reputation in China as our experts work with counterparts in China to deliver high-quality research and education that has a global impact. As a global ‘civic’ university, Birmingham has a responsibility to enrich the life of people in our home city and the wider world.”

In addition to strengthening research links, both universities plan to increase the numbers of Chinese students on joint undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that see them studying at Birmingham. There are already more than 40 Chinese students coming to Birmingham from BJTU through these education agreements.

President NING Bin said: “The signing of this agreement provides an excellent platform for scholars and researchers from both countries and worldwide to conduct cutting-edge research and education in transportation science and technology – making a tremendous contribution to railway development in China, UK and the wider-world.

“Our partnership will strengthen co-operation between two of the UK and China’s best railway research and education institutions. It will demonstrate best practice between universities and enterprises in promoting technology transfer. As the leading research-focused university in China, BJTU is ready to maximise its strength in transportation engineering and make its due contribution to the world’s railway development.”

There are already strong links in research and education between the two universities. Professor Clive Roberts, Director of BCRRE, holds a visiting professorship at BJTU, whilst a number of research experts from BJTU are spending up to a year in Birmingham working with counterparts at BCRRE.

Research staff have written joint publications on rail engineering, whilst BCRRE and China’s State Key Laboratory in Railway Traffic Control and Safety jointly organise the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation every two years.

Both partners are also collaborating on a joint MSc course on Railway Risk and Safety Management funded by Lloyds Register Foundation.

Today’s signing follows an agreement signed between the universities in October that will see BJTU engineering students spending the fourth and final year of their degree studying their choice of modules at Birmingham. They will then have the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree programme in their chosen engineering field at Birmingham.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • BJTU is a prestigious, research-intensive, and engineering focused Chinese university that has a particular strength in railway engineering. It enjoys a comprehensive ranking of 44th place (2015) amongst the 2,500 plus Chinese universities. It is the most influential university in railway technology in China, with all the related disciplines continuously being ranked as the number one in China.
  • Part of the national HE key strategic “211” and “985” programmes, BJTU also leads on one of the 14 national strategic innovation programmes: the Rail Traffic Safety Collaborative Innovation Centre scheme.

For more information or interviews, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out of hours media enquiries, please call: +44 (0) 7789 921 165.