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Posted 29 July 2013

UCD strengthens its foothold in China’s ‘Silicon Valley’

University College Dublin further strengthened its footprint in China this week when it reached agreement with Shenzhen University (SZU) to establish a new International College in Health Sciences Innovation.

This initiative follows closely on the heels of the opening of the Beijing-Dublin International College (BDIC) in September 2012 – a partnership between UCD and Beijing University of Technology which is concentrating initially on computer science, engineering and finance.

It is likely to be further complemented by an even larger campus development in the coastal city of Yantai focusing on agricultural science, food science, life sciences, and bioengineering when current negotiations with China Agricultural University and the Yantai Municipal Government are completed over the coming months.

When fully developed, the UCD Shenzhen International College will host 3 inter-related programmes:

  • A suite of postgraduate masters, PhD and Continuing Professional Development courses in the health sciences and healthcare management;

  • A joint research programme in Systems Biology, Systems Medicine and Connected Health which will also involve other higher education institutions and companies based in the Shenzhen region;

  • A biotechnology incubator centre to support the development of life and health sciences companies, including Irish companies seeking to do business in China.

The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement by the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady, and the President of Shenzhen University, Professor Li Qingquan, was followed by a meeting of Mr Richard Bruton TD, Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Madam Wu Yihuan, the Vice Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal Government whose portfolio includes responsibility for education. Both leaders warmly welcomed the deepening of the collaboration between UCD and SZU and, in addition, had a wide ranging discussion on the potential for Ireland and Shenzhen to deepen their trade and educational links.

Speaking after the event, Dr Hugh Brady expressed his thanks to Dr Jason Last, Professor Pat Murray, Professor Des Fitzgerald and their colleagues for their work building this important partnership and underscored the potential benefits of the joint venture for UCD and Ireland: ‘The Shenzhen region is now firmly established as one of the world’s hotbeds of innovation, design and technology. It is also very challenged to develop a high quality healthcare system for over 20 million people. The UCD-SZU partnership will not only contribute to the education of the health professionals, biomedical scientists and healthcare managers that Shenzhen needs to staff its health system and biotechnology sector, but also provide valuable study abroad and internship opportunities for Irish students and a pipeline of high quality Chinese students back to UCD. In addition, it should provide new employment, research and funding opportunities for young Irish academics, and has the potential to contribute to the development of stronger educational, trade and cultural links between Ireland and the world’s second largest economy’.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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