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Shenzhen and Queen's University: 20 years in partnership

We established an education partnership in 1997 with Shenzhen University, China, the longest serving partnership programme in Queen’s to date.

This visionary partnership helps the next generation of students become world-class global scholars, encouraging internationalisation across disciplines.

The educational programme is delivered solely in China and aims to prepare around 50 students each year for undergraduate studies at Queen’s. Students complete a foundation year in China and go on to study for a full degree programme in Belfast. 

Partner Institutions in China

In May 2016, a delegation led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston visited Queen’s partner institutions in China. 

Part of this was to celebrate nearly 20 years of collaborations with partner universities in China, with our partnership with Normal College, Shenzhen University (SZU) one of the founding stones of this relationship.


A Firm Foundation

SZU was founded in 1983 and is situated in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of the Pearl Delta, at the Back Bay of Shenzhen, facing Hong Kong.

There are approximately 20,000 students at the university studying a range of programmes in the liberal arts, science, engineering, business, law, art and teacher training. 

Developing and Delivering

Since its inception, there have been more than 1,000 students registered on the programme in Shenzhen and more than 600 of these students have progressed to Queen’s, completing degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture, Finance, Economics, Business Management and Psychology.

Each year, Queen’s welcomes approximately 50 students from the partnership to Northern Ireland, with students completing two modules in Chinese delivered by staff in Normal College and two modules in English delivered by Queen’s staff.

Wangchen Liu, from Hunan, China, who graduated from the Shenzhen programme in 2011 and subsequently received a scholarship to study an International MBA at Queen’s, said:

“I really enjoyed my experience at Queen’s University Belfast. It helped me build confidence and skills and I have made many friends from the UK and from all over the world.”

Uniquely, students enjoy access to ‘The Trading Room’, where they can trade across what is effectively an actual trading floor that incorporates 12 Bloomberg terminals and provides students with access to tools used by market professionals in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York – and Shenzhen.

Tools like ‘Oxyor’, a simulation tool, which puts students in a market trader’s shoes that really shows the world of financial trading at work. Oxyor also provides opportunities for students to make transactions with real money managed directly from Queen's Student Managed Fund.

“I joined the Trading and Investment Club at Queen’s Management School where I got the opportunity to meet Manus Cranny, European Markets Editor and News Anchor for Bloomberg Television and an Economics Alumni of the Management School.

In 2015, I also took part in one of the trading competitions organised by a trading company, SIG, based in Dublin. I came second in the competition.” (Wangchen Liu)

Find about more about 
Wangchen Liu's student experience at Queen's >


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Shenzhen students recently being presented with their Queen's University Belfast degrees following their completion of the Joint Foundation Programme.

Positive Returns for All

The Joint Foundation Programme has produced many significant and positive returns for both universities and also, and more importantly, for the students.  There are many excellent examples of significant student achievements both academically and socially. 

Such is the success of the relationship that students have secured executive positions in many leading organisations including China Merchant's Bank, ZTE and China Mobile, and several have completed postgraduate and doctoral research.

As part of a broader programme, Queen’s has been developing strategic partnerships in China for over two decades investing over $10m in China-related research in areas such as sustainable energy, information technology, food security and cancer research.

Looking to the future, Queen’s actively engages in developing further international partnerships.

Committed to Success

This year, the 19th cohort of Joint Foundation Programme students arrived at Queen’s. This new intake re-validates the importance of its invaluable 20-year relationship with its longest-serving Joint Programme Partner, SZU, helping a new generation of students to become world-class, global scholars through collaborative partnerships.

Next year, the Shenzhen partnership will celebrate its 20th anniversary with the celebrations starting in September 2017 when a new cohort of students joins Queen’s and a new cohort joins in Shenzhen.


Learn more about our other collaborations in China >