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Asia: neighbours and partners

Ten partnerships link us to 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 6000 co-authored publications with academics from Asian universities and institutions, primarily in China, Japan, India and South Korea.

To date we have run nine rounds of competitive funding with our Asian partners, committing more than $500,000 to support joint research, early-career mobility and collaborative workshops. In all we have supported 47 projects, involving 133 University of Sydney academics.

We have signed or renewed 9 agreements with universities across Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and India.

Our partners in Asia

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 and learning, and knowledge exchange.

We have been an active partner with the university 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 and Information Technologies, the Faculty of Health Sciences, Sydney Medical School, Sydney Nursing School, the Charles Perkins Centre and the 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 Engineering and Information TechnologiesSydney Medical School and the Charles Perkins Centre. Shanghai Jiao Tong University contributors include the School of Biomedical Engineering, the 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 ten funded projects were selected after a competitive application process and will get under way in 2019.

Improving breast cancer detection – in Australia and China

Sarah Lewis

A rapid increase in the number of breast cancer cases in China has led researchers in Sydney and Hong Kong to look for ways to improve the screening process for Asian women.

Associate Professor Sarah Lewis, a radiology researcher in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is working with staff at the University of Hong Kong on a jointly-funded project to improve breast cancer detection for both Chinese and Australian women.

“The detection rate for breast cancers in Asian women is unacceptably low, and Chinese women die at three times the rate of Australian women from breast cancer,” she says.

Fewer than 65 percent of women survive a breast cancer diagnosis in China, whereas the five-year survival rate in Australia is about 92 percent.

The biggest challenge facing radiologists is that Chinese women typically have a high proportion of fibro-glandular tissue in their breast, which makes screening mammograms difficult to read.

The research project is looking at a number of different ways of tackling the problem, including development of a web-based education tool for radiologists, to assist with breast cancer detection in high-density cases.

For me, the magic of research partnerships lies in a shared goal of translation.
Associate Professor Sarah Lewis, radiology researcher, Faculty of Health Sciences

Facts & figures

Asia fast facts

  • 9 partnerships with universities
  • 6000 co-authored papers
  • 9 funding rounds, worth $500,000+
  • 47 projects involving 133 academics

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