The ZJE Institute (Zhejiang University - University of Edinburgh)

About the partnership

The history of the partnership between Zhejiang University and University of Edinburgh

In 1881, David Duncan Main, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (UoE) came to Hangzhou and became the head of Guangji Hospital (the predecessor of The second affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine). This is the first collaboration between the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Zhejiang University(ZJU).

More than 130 years later, UoE and ZJU joined hands again.

The Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute (ZJU-UoE Institute) is a collaboration in the field of Biomedical Sciences between UoE and ZJU. These two premier universities have established a joint international research institute at the International Campus of Zhejiang University in Haining, Zhejiang, building on the existing strengths of both institutions to foster collaborations in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research. The Institute will provide education programmes that promote academic excellence, leadership, innovative and global vision in the next generation of Biomedical Scientists. At full capacity, the ZJU-UoE Institute will host 600 undergraduate and 300 postgraduate students.

Our programme brings together the extensive knowledge and expertise of academic staff in the Zhejiang University School of Basic Medical Sciences and from the School of Biomedical Sciences from the Edinburgh Medical School. This new and exciting collaboration is the first of its kind for both universities, offering a unique opportunity in biomedical science training. Our "ZJU PLUS" advanced higher education model will bring students into a scientific field of critical importance for health and wellbeing in the 21st century.

Timeline of the ZJE partnership


  • 25 August-The 1st Joint Symposium on Biomedical Sciences (Edinburgh)


  • 1 September The first batch of students majoring in biomedical sciences were admitted and taught in the Qiu-shi Science Class.


  • 7 January  - The assistant principal of the University of Edinburgh Jeremy Bradshaw led his delegation to visit Zhejiang University to exchange ideas of building the Joint Institute. (Zhejiang)


  • 10 February - The executive vice president of Zhejiang University Professor Song Yonghua led other delegates to visit the University of Edinburgh and discussed the structure and scheme of building the Joint Institute. (Edinburgh)
  • 27 March - In the administrative meeting of Zhejiang University, the project of ZJU-UoE Institute was approved of launching.


  • 20 May - Zhejiang University and the University of Edinburgh announced the establishment of Zhejiang University University of Edinburgh Institute in the International Campus of Zhejiang University in Haining.
  • 15 July - The first Joint Management Committee meeting was held successfully.


  • June - Students enrolled directly from College Entrance Examination for the first time.
  • 16 August Zhejiang University International Campus moved to Haining new campus.
  • 12 September - Welcome ceremony for the inaugural batch of students


  • 21 October - Signing memo of Joint PhD programmes


  • 22 March The second joint UG programme approved and set out to recruit.
  • 15 September Welcome ceremony of inaugural batch of dual degree PhD students
  • 15 November - The winner of the British Business Awards Education Institutional Partnership of the Year Award 2018


  • 4 March - The ZJE research building was fully operational
  • 8 September The initiation of the eight-year programme