About Us


Founded in

The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School is a flagship partnership between Southwest Jiaotong University(SWJTU) and University of Leeds for delivering world-class teaching and research. Based in Chengdu, it offers a unique Chinese-UK engineering curriculum.

The partnership brings together two engineering education and research powerhouses. SWJTU was formed from the Imperial Chinese Railway College, founded in 1896, and is one of the oldest universities in China. Based in Chengdu in the Sichuan province, it is primarily a technological university with particular strengths in engineering and transport. In student education, SWJTU has ‘Band 1’ status in the Chinese university recruitment process and the Chinese Ministry of Education has approved 1,200 of this band 1 quota (i.e. the highest achieving high school applicants) to be allocated to the Joint School. In research, the University has a particular strength in high speed rail and is home to National Key Research Laboratories for Track Transportation and Traction Power. University of Leeds, established in 1904, is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, which is renowned globally for the quality of its teaching and research.


The joint school was established in 2015 and launched in September 2016. It annually recruits around 300 of the brightest high school students in China, enabling both institutions to collaboratively develop academic and industry leaders of the future.  

The Joint School currently offers four degree programmes

The Joint School currently offers four degree programmes:

  • Civil Engineering with Transport BEng

  • Computer Science BSc

  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering BEng

  • Mechanical Engineering BEng

Joint School students graduate with degrees from both Leeds and SWJTU. They primarily follow the Leeds syllabus in the English language, but also take additional SWJTU courses to earn the two degree qualifications. Whilst many students opt to spend their four-year courses in Chengdu, where they will be given intensive language education, a proportion of students transfer to Leeds to study for two years (2+2) or for their final year (3+1).

Teaching is delivered by a combination of existing Leeds and SWJTU staff, together with a team of dedicated Joint School staff. As the partnership develops, University of Leeds students based in the UK will also have the opportunity to attend the Joint School; the partnership also encompasses a dual PhD programme and joint research.

Our Vision and Mission

With the combination of strengths in teaching and research from Southwest Jiaotong University and University of Leeds, the Joint School is committed to nurturing innovative talents and future leaders, with international competitiveness and cross-cultural leadership.

We are committed to deepening and enhancing collaborations to cultivate talents and engineering a better future for our students. We spare no effort to strengthen connections between China and the UK, and other parts of the world, addressing future skills requirements, opening up new research opportunities, and engineering a better world for humanity.