Published on 22/05/2023
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Aston University and Northeast Forestry University
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will strengthen existing partnership and form basis for future collaborations 
  • Official signing took place during an official visit by delegation from NEFU and AEMG on 22 May
  • Delegation met senior staff from College of Engineering and Physical Sciences as well as NEFU students studying at Aston University. 

Aston University in Birmingham, UK and Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) in Harbin City in Heilongjiang Province, China have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop their strategic partnership. 

The MoU will see the universities renew and strengthen their existing partnership and explore future collaborations in the areas of both teaching and research. The partnership is facilitated by AEMG Education, who have over 20 years of experience in brokering strategic relationships with Chinese universities.

The official signing by Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, Professor Li Shunlong, Vice President of Northeast Forestry University and Mr Stephen Connelly, Vice President of AEMG Education, took place on 22 May during a visit to Aston University by a senior delegation from NEFU and AEMG Education. 

The delegation from NEFU also included Professor Liu Zhiming, Dean of Aulin College, Mr Sun Zhiping, Director of the International Cooperation Office and Professor Li Hongfen, Associate Professor of the College of Civil Engineering.

AEMG Education was represented by Mr Stephen Connelly, Vice President of Business Development and Engagement, Dr Jacko Feng, Director of Research and Partnerships and Ms Sarah Armstrong, Director of Business Development, UK & Europe.

During the visit, the delegation met with senior staff from the Department of Civil Engineering and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, including Executive Dean, Professor Stephen Garrett. They also had the opportunity to meet with the NEFU students studying at Aston University who have just completed their final year examinations. 

The Aston University/NEFU partnership was established around the development of a joint programme in BSc Construction Project Management which was approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE) in January 2018, under which students from NEFU are able to transfer into the final year of the programme at Aston University. In 2021/22, the first cohort of 21 students successfully finished their studies,10 of whom achieved first class degrees.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, commented: 

“I am delighted to welcome visitors from NEFU and AEMG to Aston University and to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with NEFU. 

“This represents an important milestone in taking forward our collaboration.  We are committed to continuing to strengthen our strategic relationship with NEFU and look forward to welcoming more students in the future.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email:


Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
Press and Communications Manager


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