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East Asia

Partnerships in East Asia

Durham has a longstanding connection with East Asia and has many research and partnerships with institutions across the region. We are proud to offer prestigious awards to students from the region, such as the China Scholarship Council. In addition, The University’s Oriental Museum has several international partnerships in East Asia and over the last six years has produced several important collaborations in knowledge sharing, staff training, postgraduate teaching, and exhibitions.
Discover our work in other global regions
The Forbidden City in Beijing, China


We collaborate in world-leading research, programmes and projects with our partners in China, ranging from galaxy and black hole studies with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, archaeological studies with the Palace Museum Beijing, joint doctoral programmes in business with Fudan University and to education and research programmes with a range of institutions.

Our Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies has promoted Chinese Studies and the Chinese language for over 40 years and is firmly established as the regional centre for Chinese Studies in the Northeast of England. The University’s Oriental Museum collection extends to over 10,000 Chinese objects attracting almost 33,000 visitors each year. The partnerships, research collaborations and joint degree programmes Durham developed with a broad range of institutions and partners in China are central to enhancing our global engagement.

In 2020, Durham launched our in-country presence in China, with staff based in Beijing and Shanghai. Our China presence provides a vital connection to our broader community of students, alumni, partners, corporations, governments and funding bodies, and plays an important role in strengthening Durham’s engagement in China. You can contact our China-based team here.


Our connection to Japan is also strong and has initially been developed through many decades of teaching Japanese Studies (formerly as part of East Asian Studies) at Durham. This popular programme is underpinned by an exchange programme with several leading Japanese universities.

Our renewed partnership with the National Museum of Japanese History has been producing important research and exhibitions throughout the years. We have also joined RENKEI, the Japan-UK Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiatives, which facilitates research collaboration (particularly in the fields of Climate Change and Health).

This section highlights some of the collaborative research and other activities with our partners in East Asia 


Collaborating for Impact

Explore a snapshot of our collaborative work with our partners in East Asia

Oldest fossils of mysterious animal group are actually seaweeds

A scientist from Department of Earth Sciences has collaborated with researchers in China to reveal a group of prehistoric sea creatures is not as ancient as we thought.
Fossils seaweed

Knowledge Across Borders

Knowledge Across Borders is a webinar series brought to you by Durham University in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Science
Chinese Academy of Sciences logo

Palace Museum: Durham becomes first UK team to excavate in Forbidden City

Our Archaeology Department has been involved in studying the historical distribution of ancient Chinese traded cultural artefacts in the Middle East and Europe.
Excavation work in Beijing

“The Polyphony Meets China”: New collaborative initiative at The Polyphony

"The Polyphony Meets China”, is a collaborative project between the Polyphony and the Narrative Medicine at the Southern Medical University and Durham University.

Ancient fossils shed new light on evolution of sea worm

The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Changjiang Scholars Program of the Chinese Ministry of Education.
A 515 million year old fossil of a sea worm

RENKEI Early Career Researcher Fellowships

The programme will focus on the researcher response to the interdisciplinary, global challenge of climate adaptation and resilience across the following RENKEI themes.

Renewed Partnership with National Museum of Japanese History

The Oriental Museum renews Memorandum of Understanding with the National Museum of Japanese History and celebrates the highly valued partnership.
Oriental Museum galleries

Durham Law School signs cooperation agreement with prestigious law school in China

Durham Law School and Shanghai Jiaotong University Koguan School of Law, a prestigious law school in China, sign a cooperation agreement.
Ariel view of Shanghai in China

Oriental Museum welcomes Master Japanese Potter

Master Japanese potter Keigo Kamide visits the Oriental Museum to give a talk about his art and the ancient craft of Kutani.
Keigo Kamide Pottery event at Oriental Museum

Sugar could help repair artificial human joints

Researchers from our Chemistry Department and Tsinghua University developed a new sugar-containing polymer that could help repair artificial joint implants.
Sugar could help repair artificial human joints

Durham launches one of the UK’s first research centres for Chinese Law & Policy

The new interdisciplinary Centre is committed to conducting and disseminating research on Chinese law and policy issues that are of contemporary significance.
Great Wall of China Lookout

Monogatari: the art of storytelling in Japanese woodblock prints

This exhibition, created in partnership with the National Museum of Japanese History, explores how art was created during conflicts in 19th-20th centuries.
The Battle of Komaki: Kato Kiyomasa and Honda Tadakatsu by Yōshū Chikanobu, 1899 CE



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East Asian Students and Scholars

Durham hosts over 3000 students from countries in East Asia each year. Some of these outstanding students come to Durham with prestigious awards (such as the China Scholarship Council) and they all make a crucial part of Durham’s vibrant community.

Explore the Chinese Scholarships Council Check out our International entry requirements
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Alumni in East Asia

We have a very vibrant alumni community across East Asia that contributes to continuous engagement and support for our current students.

Visit our alumni community
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Keep in touch

You can connect with us on Weibo and WeChat or check out our Chinese student community blogs.

Information for international students Student blogs



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Partner with us

In the past five years, China has been our second largest partner in terms of research and co-authored publications. Researchers across all our four Faculties also collaborated with colleagues at 175 institutions in Japan to produce over 550 joint publications across multiple research fields.

Interested to partner with us? Contact us