CHINA’S first biomedical campus with strong links to Scotland has opened in Zhejiang Province at an estimated cost of $1 billion.

Edinburgh University has formed a partnership with Zhejiang University – the first of its type for the University and for China as a whole – to create the purpose-built International Campus at Haining in Zhejiang Province, about 80 miles west of Shanghai.

The Campus will eventually accommodate 5000 students, and brings together researchers and teaching staff from Edinburgh and Zhejiang Universities.

Staff from Edinburgh and Zhejiang will deliver a four-year degree in biomedical sciences – the first of its type in China – which will be taught entirely in English.

The degree programme will offer a curriculum reflecting the full breadth of biomedical science, including infectious diseases, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology and reproductive biology.

The Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute programme will have a strong emphasis on research, with leading international scientists recruited to work alongside staff from Edinburgh and Zhejiang.

Teaching will be provided by staff based permanently at a new faculty in Zhejiang main campus in Hangzhou and a “Flying Faculty” from Edinburgh –staff who will travel to China for 12 weeks each year.

The first 22 students were enrolled on the BSc (Hons) in the Integrative Biomedical Sciences programme in September 2016.

A further 67 students have enrolled for the 2017/18 academic year, with a target of 600 on the programme in the coming years.

Professor Yonghua Song, Zhejiang University’s executive vice president, said: “The opening of the International Campus at Haining marks a very important stage in our collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. We are bringing together top researchers and academics to teach some of China’s brightest young minds.”

Professor Susan Welburn, Executive Dean of the Zhejiang – Edinburgh Joint Institute, said: “This is our first venture into formal educational delivery in China.

“We will equip these international students with the skills and knowledge to lead their own research teams.”

Prof Mike Shipston, Edinburgh’s Dean of Biomedical Sciences, said: “Many of the global challenges in healthcare, whether it be obesity, infectious diseases or cancer, which the institutes are investigating are as big, if not bigger, challenges in China than elsewhere, so this is really huge opportunity to bring things together.”