What did we learn about China’s international collaborations


What did we learn about China’s worldwide international collaborations in 2019 and what can we expect in 2020?


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China increased its number of worldwide international collaborations.

What did we learn in:


Building on China’s US $5 trillion investment in the One Belt, One Road initiative, China signed agreements with colleges and universities in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The goal is to create a network of potential students to enroll in Chinese universities, establish exchange programs, develop research collaborations, and inaugurate branch campuses.

Of the top 15 countries enrolling students in China, 10 were from Belt and Road countries.

 IN 2018, a consortium of universities collaborated to form the University Consortium of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. In 2019 China strengthened this collaboration with 60 institutions from Europe, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States.

The Asian Universities Alliance was designed to strengthen collaboration between China and countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. Joining Tsinghua University in this Alliance is Peking University, the University of Tokyo, Seoul National University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Malaysia. 

An agreement signed in December 2019 between China and Hungary allowed Fudan University to replace the Central European University in Hungary.

In September 2019 the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Academy of Sciences to collaborate on research, skills development, and technology transfer.  

What can we expect in:


China will use the Fudan campus in Hungary to gain a foothold in central and eastern Europe.

China and Hungary will create a joint technology transfer center in Chongqing that will focus on renewable energy and wastewater management.

China will continue to establish branch campuses around the world, especially in Belt and Road countries.

Chang’an University, one of China’s best schools for road, bridge, and automobile engineering, increased the number of overseas students from 409 in 2013 to 1,600 in 2019. Expect the number of overseas students in Chng’an University to increase in 2020. 

Expect a more robust research collaboration between Singapore University of Technology and Design and Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics.

Expect increased enrollment in Chinese institutions of students from South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Japan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Laos. 

Expect additional Chinese branch campuses to be established worldwide.

Expect robust collaboration with African universities. 

In 2018 Xinhua Education Investment Corporation purchased St. Paul’s College in Virginia, Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire, Bay State College in Massachusetts, and Dowling College in New York. Chinese investors will continue to purchase higher education institutions worldwide.


Marijk van der Wende, professor of higher education at Utrecht University’s faculty of law, economics, and government, is researching the implications of China’s collaborations around the world. Dr. van der Wende believes it is time for colleagues worldwide to regard China as one of the leaders in global higher education, research, and collaboration

Beyond the corridors of today lies a new world order. International deans and recruiters first need to agree that China’s ambitious higher education initiatives cannot be ignored or denied. China is no longer one of many players in higher education.

It is a major player. 

This entry was posted in Colleges, Foreign Students, International Education, International students, Universities by Marguerite Dennis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Marguerite Dennis

Marguerite Dennis has been recruiting internationally for over 25 years, first at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and then at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. During that time she was responsible for establishing a branch campus for Suffolk University in Dakar, Senegal and Madrid, Spain. Marguerite increased the international student population at Suffolk University by 193% from 1993 to 2011 and increased the number of study abroad programs by 135%, from 20 to 47. She monitored the recruitment programs for Suffolk University in 20 countries and hired a network of 10 international educational consultants. She signed agreements in Viet Nam, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Germany, Mexico, France and Argentina.

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