SWJTU-Leeds Joint Engineering School

SWJTU Launch


The Joint Engineering School with Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) is a flagship partnership for delivering world-class teaching and research. Based in Chengdu, it offers a unique UK-Chinese engineering curriculum and is the first overseas school to be set up by the University of Leeds. 

Launched in September 2016, it is recruiting 1200 of the brightest high school students in China over four years, enabling both institutions to collaboratively develop academic and industry leaders of the future.    

This partnership will cultivate global talent and build strong connections between the UK, China and other parts of the world, addressing future skills requirements and opening up new research opportunities.

Prime Minister David Cameron, on the launch of the Joint School

The Joint School currently offers four degree programmes: 

Joint School students graduate with degrees from both Leeds and SWJTU. They primarily follow the Leeds syllabus in the English language, but also take additional SWJTU courses to earn the two degree qualifications. Whilst many students will opt to spend their four-year courses in Chengdu, where they will be given intensive language education, a proportion of students will transfer to Leeds to study for one or two years.

It means the brightest students will benefit from the very best of Chinese and British higher education, giving them the distinctive edge to compete on the global stage and providing Leeds with links to some of the very best future engineering talent in China.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds

Teaching is delivered by a combination of existing Leeds and SWJTU staff, together with a team of dedicted Joint School staff. As the partnership develops, University of Leeds students based in the UK will also have the opportunity to attend the Joint School, and there is a commitment to extend the collaboration to postgraduate education and research.

The partnership brings together two engineering education and research powerhouses. SWJTU was formed from the Imperial Chinese Railway College, founded in 1896, and is one of the oldest universities in China. Based in Chengdu in the Sichuan province, it is primarily a technological university with particular strengths in engineering and transport. In student education, SWJTU has ‘Band 1’ status in the Chinese university recruitment process and the Chinese Ministry of Education has approved 1,200 of this band 1 quota (i.e. the highest achieving high school applicants) to be allocated to the Joint School. In research, the University has a particular strength in high speed rail and is home to National Key Research Laboratories for Track Transportation and Traction Power.

The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School is committed to nurturing innovative talents and future leaders, with international competitiveness and cross-cultural leadership.

President Xu Fei, SWJTU