Royal Agricultural University extends global reach with launch of Joint Institute in China

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) today (Monday 14 September) opens a major Joint Institute with Qingdao Agricultural University (QAU) in China which will help to expand transnational higher education in the land-based sector.

In a very competitive process, the RAU/QAU institute was one of only 11 that were selected by the Chinese Ministry of Education to be established this year. In fact, the RAU is also the only small specialist university in the UK to have established a Joint Institute with endorsement from the Chinese government.

Named “The RAU Joint Institute for Advanced Agritechnology at QAU”, this partnership will see double-award degrees offered across four BSc (Hons) programmes; Agriculture; Environment, Food and Society; International Business Management; and Food Production and Supply Management. The degrees will be delivered at the QAU campus, with students being taught in English by both RAU and QAU academics.

RAU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joanna Price, said: “Establishing this Joint Institute with QAU is a key strategic initiative for the RAU and represents an important milestone as we celebrate our 175th anniversary.  

“The ability to share insight, knowledge and expertise across global boundaries is vital if our graduates can provide the solutions needed to tackle key emerging issues and shape the future of sustainable food production in the face of climate change.”

QAU President Professor Song said: “I am delighted to be working with the Royal Agricultural University. Their strong vision and support has been key to successfully establishing the Joint Institute. This collaboration provides an opportunity to showcase the value of international partnerships and strengthen the quality of student experience and academic expertise at the QAU. We look forward to deepening our working relationship with the RAU in the future.”

Professor Neil Ravenscroft, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at the RAU, who led on the partnership, said: “Collaborating on this Joint Institute is a huge honour for the RAU, especially as the first small specialist university in the UK to achieve this status.

“The timing, as Covid-19 heightens both the UK’s and China’s awareness of such major issues as international food security, global food supply chains and the interdependence of agribusiness in today’s world, undoubtedly provides us with a platform through which we can make a sustained contribution to improving people’s health and welfare, on a global scale.”

The RAU, which is based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, already has a strong reputation for fostering partnerships with some of the world’s leading businesses, government bodies and organisations in the agritech sector, which provides students with a breadth of academic and professional opportunities. The University also attracts a mix of international students, with students from over 40 countries.