UQ and China

Partners in the global economy

UQ has more student mobility, research collaborations, and commercialisation partnerships with China than with almost any other country. The strong linkages are a result of long-standing partnerships with Chinese institutions, particularly the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and some of the country's most influential industry bodies and organisations, including Baosteel and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. 

Fast facts


Chinese students enrolled at UQ


 China-UQ co-publications


academic staff born in China


research project collaborations


alumni in China


agreements with 97 official partners

Fast facts show full-year 2019 data.

Research at UQ

Learn about UQ research excellence, world-class facilities, and international linkages
(Chinese subtitles, 中文字幕)

Collaboration in action

Combining expertise with industrial strength

UQ’s research connections continue to broaden and expand in China, among them, the renewal for another 5-year period of the Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre (BAJC). The additional AUD 10 million in funding brings Baosteel’s investment in BAJC to AUD 21.7 million since 2011. The collaborative centre is based at UQ and involves UNSW Sydney, Monash University, University of Wollongong, and Deakin University (joined the Centre in 2019). BAJC is Baosteel’s first overseas R&D centre, and hosts researchers, scientists, and engineers from China annually. Baosteel Group Corporation President, Mr Derong Chen, hailed the Centre as “an important part of Baosteel’s technological innovation”.

Cervical cancer vaccine now in China

One of Australia’s most well-known medical breakthroughs, the cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix, has been approved by the China Food and Drug Administration and has been distribution through GlaxoSmith Kline China since early 2017. The ground-breaking innovation, along with the Gardasil vaccine, is the result of decades of work by UQ Professor Ian Frazer and the late virologist Dr Zhou Jian. The pair’s vision to protect women against cervical cancer has resulted in more than 205 million doses of the Cervarix and Gardasil vaccines distributed in 130 countries, reducing the number of deaths by cervical cancer by around 250,000 each year. Image: Professor Frazer with Dr Jian's wife and research partner Dr Xiao Yi Sun

Animal welfare and improving standards of care

The University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science is leading a project examining the welfare of millions of animals in China, which raises and slaughters more livestock than any other nation. The Animal Welfare Standards Project involves UQ researchers working with Chinese industry to improve the welfare of animals during farming and slaughter. The project also involves researchers from the Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics and the Southern China Agricultural University at Guangzhou.

Mapping the human brain

A joint initiative between UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Automation (CASIA) is using advanced imaging techniques and computational analysis to better understand brain behaviour. The leaders in brain science have worked together at the Sino-Australian Laboratory of Brainnetome in Beijing since 2013. Using neuroimaging, the collaboration is not only helping researchers understand how a healthy brain works, but is also providing insight into how disease affects brain mechanics. Ultimately, the findings will be used to understand learning and memory-forming networks, which will help deliver more effective education models in schools.

Ancient cultures combine to create change

Chinese and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have joined hands in friendship to promote opportunities for students at UQ. UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (ATSIS) Unit and Confucius Institute (UQ CI) conduct an annual four-week program based at Tianjin University (TJU), one of the top 10 universities in China. Nine Indigenous Australian students have participated in this annual initiative since 2015. Students benefit from practical research experiences, develop a global view in their area of interest and grow a deeper understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

Changing the face of parenting

The first randomised controlled trial of a western-developed parenting program in mainland China has been found to positively affect families concerned about their child’s academic performance. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, an initiative of UQ's Parenting and Family Support Centre, has a proven ability to increase parental confidence and to reduce child adjustment issues. Chinese parenting practices have changed in recent decades and, today, obedience-focused parenting is increasingly being replaced by more egalitarian approaches. As a result, China’s Ministry of Health has aligned itself with the program, and is helping facilitate paediatrician and psychiatrist training in Triple P methodology throughout the country.

Chinese students at UQ

Chinese students make up the largest international cohort at UQ. In the past 5 years, 11,624 Chinese students have been enrolled in UQ degrees. The Bachelor and Master of CommercePhD studies, and International Hotel and Tourism Management are the most popular program choices.

The Australia-China Youth Association, Chinese Debating Association, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Club, and UQ Chinese Students and Scholars Association are among the clubs and societies on campus that provide a platform for sharing cultures and welcoming Chinese students.

Video: Sanle Zhao, from China, talks about her experience studying Chinese Translation and Interpreting at UQ




Chinese culture at UQ

UQ has a long history of providing Mandarin language and Chinese culture programs, with the first Chinese classes held as early as 1967. Today, UQ students can study Mandarin Chinese through the School of Languages and Cultures, which offers more than 50 Chinese courses including Techniques in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, and Chinese Translation and Interpreting.

The Institute of Modern Languages (IML) also offers Chinese courses (Mandarin and Cantonese) for the wider Brisbane community, as well as translation and interpreting services. In addition, the Confucius Institute manages programs and events that foster engagement between Australia and China. 

Video: the Confucius Institute at UQ (Chinese subtitles, 中文字幕​)

Student mobility

Student exchange

UQ has student exchange agreements with 15 universities in China, including all members of the prestigious C9 League. Many UQ students have been supported by the New Colombo Plan (NCP), including Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws student Marissa Chesher who studied at Nanjing University in 2015 as an NCP Scholar.

Fighting transnational crime and counterterrorism

In January/February 2017, with funding from the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, UQ law students undertook a comparative study in how the divergent legal cultures of Australia and China tackle common policy problems relating to transnational crime and counterterrorism.

New approaches to environmental challenges

From February-June 2017, with funding from the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, UQ Bachelor of Environmental Management students undertook industry placements in Hubei Province. In partnership with Wuhan University and various governmental and non-governmental organisations, the students investigated the environmental impact of the Three Gorges Dam – the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity – from a range of new perspectives.

Fostering global IT innovation

In June/July 2017, with funding from the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, UQ undergraduate students travelled to China to receive training and practical experience in initiating innovative IT products. The students were guided and mentored by IT professionals and entrepreneurs, thanks to UQ's partnership with Chinese services provider Neusoft.

UQ makes its mark in the Asian Century

The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Asian Exchange Scholarship is helping UQ undergraduates actively contribute to Australia's success in Asia. Valued at A$12,000, the Scholarship was awarded to 3 UQ students in 2017 for study at Tsinghua University and Peking University. Another UQ student received the Scholarship to study at Tsinghua University in 2016.

Global entrepreneurship program

UQ’s China Mobility Program provides students with the opportunity to undertake a fully-supported internship with technology startups in China. The program is managed by the team at UQ Idea Hub, which offers students the opportunity to spend 4 weeks embedded within some of Shanghai’s best technology startups.

Video: Sun Yat-Sen University UQ double degree

Video: China Mobility Program


China is home to a significant UQ alumni network - 7381 alumni live in China and 13,268 were born there. Alumni with significant links to China include:

Consulate-General in Guangzhou (Bachelor of Arts (Hons) 1994)
China Central Television (CCTV) news anchor; recipient of 2014 Australia China Alumni Award (Bachelor of Commerce 1995)
Professor and Chief Physician at School of Medicine and Director of Global Health Program at Research Centre For Public Health, Tsinghua University (Master of Tropical Health 1992)
Codelco-Fangyuan Research Fellow (PhD – metallurgy 1999)
China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP); Former Vice-President (Master of Educational Studies 2001)
Global Chair, KPMG Global China Practice; Head of Infrastructure, KPMG China (Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) 1992)
Head of Product Innovation Centre (PIC) - Nestlé Health Science - Greater China Region (Bachelor of Applied Science 2000)
Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, Starbucks China (Bachelor of Commerce 1993)
Chief Strategy Officer at Tencent Music Entertainment Group (Bachelor of Commerce 2001)
Principal Conductor of China's Xi'an Symphony Orchestra (Bachelor of Music (Hons) 2006)