SWJTU-Leeds Joint School

A photograph of the 2023 graduating cohort of the SWJTU-Leeds Joint School.

The Joint 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 annually recruits around 375 of the brightest high school students in China, enabling both institutions to collaboratively develop academic and industry leaders of the future.

The Joint School currently offers five 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 opt to spend their four-year courses in Chengdu, where they will be given intensive language education, a proportion of students transfer to Leeds to study for two years (2+2) or for their final year (3+1).

Teaching is delivered by a combination of existing Leeds and SWJTU staff, together with a team of dedicated 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; the partnership also encompasses a dual PhD programme and joint 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 1,500 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.

Former President Xu Fei, SWJTU