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Connecting with Asia's leading universities
The rise of Asia’s universities has been a dominant trend in international higher education. The University is at the forefront of building partnerships with our closest neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the past three years our researchers have produced more than 8000 co-authored publications with academics from Asian universities and institutions, primarily in China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, India and South Korea.

To date we have run 11 rounds of competitive funding with our Asian partners, committing more than $700,000 to support joint research, early-career mobility and collaborative workshops. In all we have supported 58 projects, involving 174 University of Sydney academics.

We have signed or renewed 10 agreements with universities across Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and India.

Our partners in Asia

The University of Sydney and Fudan University signed a partnership agreement in May 2019 that will establish a Brain and Intelligence Science Alliance between the two universities.

Research will focus on cognitive neuroscience and brain disorders, along with the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

The two universities have also agreed to make funding available on a competitive basis for joint research and education projects, to be judged by academic panels from Sydney and Fudan.

In September 2016 we signed the first of our new strategic partnerships with the University of Hong Kong, agreeing to support greater collaboration in research, teaching, learning, and knowledge exchange.

We have been an active partner with the University of Hong Kong for many years. More than 350 joint research papers have been published in the last decade across key areas that include electrical engineering, pharmacy, sustainability, and urban planning.

Our landmark research agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras runs for five years and is worth $500,000. It will use modern engineering approaches to help develop medical interventions for health issues. It will also enable greater mobility between Australia and India for PhD students from both universities.

The multidisciplinary initiative involves the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sydney Medical SchoolSydney Nursing SchoolCharles Perkins Centre and George Institute for Global Health.

Read about more research partnerships in India

Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Sydney have a university-wide priority partnership agreement that commits each university to invest $100,000 over three years to fund joint research projects.

The two universities have partnered on a project that draws together their expertise in biomedical engineering. Both universities have invested $1 million in the alliance to promote joint research, information exchange and academic mobility.

Research collaborators from the University of Sydney include the Faculty of EngineeringSydney Medical School and Charles Perkins Centre. Shanghai Jiao Tong University contributors include the School of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine and the Translational Medicine Research Centre.

Sydney Medical School has also been working closely with Shanghai Jiao Tong University to provide intensive training courses for Chinese students.

The University of Sydney and Zhejiang University have made funding available for a short-term faculty exchange program, through a partnership agreement.

Under our partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, both universities commit $50,000 per year for three years to collaborative projects, including joint research and staff/student mobility.

We have signed an agreement to set up a joint big data lab for integrative medicine and have created a short-term faculty exchange program that will provide mobility funding for up to four Sydney academics working with partners at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The University of Sydney and Yonsei University provide joint funding to support collaborative research projects and teaching and learning initiatives.

Three projects per year from any discipline are selected on a competitive basis, with up to $20,000 in funding available per project.

The University of Sydney has forged a resarch alliance with Tsinghua University that focuses on energy networks.

Joint research is taking place into power and energy engineering systems, and the economic and regulatory environments for future energy networks. Investment and business development opportunities are also being explored.

The University of Sydney's partnership with National Taiwan University funds joint research projects and workshops. We are National Taiwan University's top Australian collaborating partner, and key areas include physical sciences and medical and health sciences, such as mental health.

The University of Sydney and the National University of Singapore (NUS) signed a cooperation agreement in July 2018 agreeing to work together in teaching, training and research. Both universities will commit $100,000 a year for joint research projects for three years.

The first 10 funded projects were selected after a competitive application process and will get underway in 2019.

Frontline COVID-19 doctors share insights with academics

Frontline doctors from Wuhan, Jingmen and Hangzhou who helped tackle the first outbreak of COVID-19 in China took part in a productive information-sharing webinar with researchers from Zhejiang University and the University of Sydney in April 2020. 

Professor Li Min, Director of the Office of the Global Engagement at Zhejiang University, said the webinar recognised the importance of international partnerships in combating the virus.

Professor Kathy Belov, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at Sydney, added: “This was an extraordinary chance to hear from people who were directly involved in China’s response to the coronavirus, and to pool the considerable resources of the two partner universities.”

The webinar was hosted by Zhejiang on 2 April and was joined by about 40 academics, physicians, clinicians and students from various faculties and research units at Sydney.

Professor Huang Xin, Vice President Executive of the Zhejiang University-affiliated Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, gave a presentation on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 by whole-process management and innovation.

This was followed by a discussion session in which the frontline doctors were connected online to answer questions and share their experiences. A wide range of questions was raised covering issues ranging from quarantine, PPE, ventilators, and anti-viral drugs to infection rates and facial mask usage.

More collaborative projects

A year after its launch, the University’s Brain and Intelligence Science Alliance with Fudan, which marries research into cognitive neuroscience and brain disorders with the ethical implications of artificial intelligence, continues to grow and attract multidisciplinary interest.

A workshop on mental health and ageing, held online because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, attracted 191 participants from both universities in May 2020. 

The workshop was organised as part of Fudan University’s 115th anniversary celebrations. It was led by six academics from both universities, with discussions ranging from the biological bases of neurodegenerative disorders to novel interventions and strategies for disease management.

Professor Sharon Naismith, the Leonard P. Ullman Chair in Psychology and the University of Sydney's lead academic on the partnership, said: “I am really delighted about the momentum we are building, and grateful for the opportunities it has given us.

“I was thrilled to see so many people attend the webinar. We attracted a fabulous mix of Sydney researchers from various faculties and multidisciplinary initiatives, which demonstrates the breadth of disciplines interested in brain sciences, in line with the University's support of multidisciplinarity in this field.”

The workshop was the third in a series, after successful events in Shanghai and Sydney last year.

Professor Naismith added: “We engaged with a fabulous mix of students, ECRs and more senior researchers. This is fundamental to the ethos of the Alliance, where we strive to build capacity and support international collaboration and research excellence in future generations.”

Facts & figures

Asia fast facts

  • 9 partnerships with universities
  • $900,000+ invested in joint research
  • 74 projects supported
  • 25,000 co-authored publications since 2016

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