Nanjing city leaders visit University of Birmingham to strengthen partnership

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Professor Jon Frampton welcomes Mr. Zhang Jinghua, Party Secretary, Communist Party of China Nanjing Municipal Committee to the University of Birmingham.

The University of Birmingham welcomed senior leaders from Nanjing Municipal Government to continue discussions with Birmingham’s sister city around working on a range of research, innovation, education, and cultural projects.

Mr. Zhang Jinghua, Party Secretary, Communist Party of China Nanjing Municipal Committee, led the delegation, which followed Provost Professor Tim Jones visit to Nanjing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that further strengthens the University’s links to the city.

Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (China) and Director of the University’s China Institute welcomed the visitors to the Edgbaston campus, as part of a major tour of the UK, which included a meeting with Birmingham City Council.

The leaders and their fellow delegates were also given a tour of the University’s hi-tech energy storage research facilities by Professor Yulong Ding from the Birmingham Energy Institute.

The University has forged close links with the Municipal Government and academic partners in the city of Nanjing, as well as the wider province, including Nanjing and Southeast Universities and Jiangsu Industry Technology Research Institute (JITRI).

Earlier this year, the University signed an agreement with Southeast University to develop new biomedical technologies that could help to fight diseases and aid regeneration of the human body by establishing a Joint Research Institute in Biomedical Engineering.

Professor Jon Frampton commented: “Welcoming our distinguished visitors to the University of Birmingham further strengthens our links with the city of Nanjing and helps us to progress future collaborations bringing our research excellence into the city and wider province of Jiangsu.

“We are pleased to demonstrate the University’s research expertise to our visitors in person. We look forward to contributing to Nanjing’s regional social and economic development by nurturing partnerships in areas where we can provide research and educational expertise.”

The University of Birmingham already has a number of significant partnerships in Nanjing. For example, experts from its world-renowned Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, joined Nanjing University and Phoenix Publishing & Media Group to increase access to and understanding of Shakespeare across China.

Mr. Zhang Jinghua commented: “Our mission for this visit is to strengthen our cooperation and strive for a win-win situation in sci-tech innovation. I have three suggestions: 1. To intensify industrial innovation collaboration. Based on each other's advantages and demand, we could push forward innovation research and industrial transformation by establishing new type of R&D institutes. 2. To increase sci-tech innovation and talent exchanges. We would welcome the University of Birmingham establishing branches or initiating joint education programs in order to promote talent exchanges. We would also be happy to see experts or scholars from the University of Birmingham start up their businesses in Nanjing. 3. We should strengthen university-to-university relationships. We need to extend our existing collaboration to other fields , expand the scope and promote win-win situations.”

The agreement signed by Professor Jones in May, sees the University work closely with the Municipal Government in the following areas:

  • Research and innovation - encouraging local research institutes, institutions of higher education, and enterprises to work with the University in scientific research and technology innovation.
  • Industrial matchmaking, technology transfer and commercialisation – linking Birmingham's scientific and technological projects to Nanjing's enterprises and sci-tech agencies so that research can be transformed into commercial products.
  • Talent training - nurturing leading sci-tech entrepreneurial talent and personnel working in education, health and public affairs. Promoting student exchanges between Birmingham and Nanjing, whilst helping high-performing students to study in both China and the UK.
  • Academic and people-to-people exchange – Through Nanjing’s Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting & Television and Press & Publication, organising cultural events showcasing the partnership; developing Shakespeare research and other relevant cultural activities in Nanjing.
  • Medicine and health - supporting Nanjing's medical universities and healthcare organisations to work with the University in clinical medicine, public health, theoretical research, technological service and personnel training.
  • Senior leaders from Southeast University visited Birmingham earlier this year to explore how both universities might collaborate further in a number of areas, including health-related data science.

The University of Birmingham is a member of the UK’s prestigious Alan Turing Institute, which was set up to advance the world-changing potential of data science. It was named in honour of the British pioneer whose work in theoretical and applied mathematics, engineering and computing laid the foundations for the emerging field of data science.


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 or

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 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
• It is ranked 7th in the UK for Graduate Employability (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014/15) and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment 2015/16 by The Times and Sunday Times.
• The history of collaboration between China and the University of Birmingham dates back almost to the foundation of the University in 1901. The University’s China Institute was created in 2012 to reflect Birmingham’s extensive academic activities its colleagues undertake in China.