The University of Cambridge has a long history of engagement with China that brings together researchers from disparate fields in order to foster interdisciplinary work focused on many of the greatest challenges facing the world.

This page outlines the income the University has received from China in the form of research grants and philanthropic funding over the last five years. It also gives the latest figures on numbers of students from mainland China and Hong Kong. This page does not include data from Cambridge Colleges, which are independent organisations.

 

Due diligence process

The University scrutinizes research funding and donations for compatibility with our mission and alignment with our values. For example, we will not engage in any research with Huawei in relation to 5G, nor do we accept their technology platforms.

In October 2021, the University announced a revised set of principles to manage risks in international engagement. In any international partnership the University will at all times:

  • Protect our people in their international engagement.
  • Defend academic freedom. 
  • Promote and support an academic culture of vigilance and awareness of these risks, and ensure that people are equipped to know how to minimise or mitigate them. 
  • Protect the open flow of ideas, data and other forms of intellectual property – including a duty to protect it against wrongful exploitation or interference.
  • Safeguard the University’s funding autonomy – including a duty to ensure the diversity and transparency of our funding sources.

 

Research grant income (expenditure) for the University of Cambridge

Table 1. Total University research grant income (expenditure) by financial year
Financial Year       Grand Total

FY2016-17

£486,000,000     £486,000,000
FY2017-18 £521,000,000     £521,000,000
FY2018-19 £560,000,000     £560,000,000
FY2019-20 £544,000,000     £544,000,000
FY2020-21 £586,000,000     £586,000,000
Grand Total       £2,697,000,000

 

Table 2. Total University research grant income (expenditure) from People's Republic of China and Hong Kong SAR by financial year
Financial Year       Grand Total
FY2016-17 £1,820,000     £1,820,000
FY2017-18 £2,380,000     £2,380,000
FY2018-19 £3,950,000     £3,950,000
FY2019-20 £4,910,000     £4,910,000
FY2020-21 £6,110,000     £6,110,000
Grand Total       £19,170,000

 

Table 3. Total University research grant income (expenditure) from Huawei by financial year
Financial Year       Grand Total
FY2016-17 £710,000     £710,000
FY2017-18 £940,000     £940,000
FY2018-19 £2,330,000     £2,330,000
FY2019-20 £3,170,000     £3,170,000
FY2020-21 £4,050,000     £4,050,000
Grand Total       £11,200,000

Notes: income from Huawei is included in the overall income from China in Table 2. It is not in addition to that income. Income from Huawei includes funding from subsidiaries, branches or affiliations located outside China.

 

Philanthropic income

Table 4. Total University philanthropic income by financial year
Financial Year Individual Organisation   Grand Total
FY2016-17 £12,187,766 £79,973,935   £92,161,701
FY2017-18 £43,833,987 £143,612,227   £187,446,213
FY2018-19 £26,332,639 £143,428,428   £169,761,067
FY2019-20 £12,559,973 £62,975,652   £75,535,626
FY2020-21 £17,552,657 £83,038,215   £100,590,872
Grand Total £112,467,022 £513,028,457   £625,495,479

 

Table 5. Total University philanthropic income from China by financial year (including Huawei)
Financial Year Individual Organisation Hong Kong Grand Total
FY2016-17 £1,251,495 £1,960,966 £1,474,562 £4,687,023
FY2017-18 £14,356 £2,588,417 £10,518,008 £13,120,781
FY2018-19 £16,364 £15,912,904 £9,226,411 £25,155,679
FY2019-20 £22,652 £5,307,348 £2,112,903 £7,442,903
FY2020-21 £1,749 £3,080,463 £854,700 £3,936,912
Grand Total £1,306,614 £28,850,097 £24,186,584 £54,343,298

 

Table 6. Total University philanthropic income committed by Huawei by financial year
Financial Year Huawei Huawei ($) Conversation to £ Grand Total
FY2016-17 £80,092     £80,092
FY2017-18 £0     £0
FY2018-19 £5,846,755 $140,000 £103,000 £5,949,755
FY2019-20 £850,000     £850,000
FY2020-21 £651,700     £651,700
Grand Total       £7,531,547

Note: income from Huawei is included in the overall income from China in Table 5. It is not in addition to that income. Income from Huawei includes funding from subsidiaries, branches or affiliations located outside China.

 

Chinese students

We welcome students from across the world to Cambridge, all of whom make a significant contribution to the Cambridge community. In 2020/21 we had just over 1,900 Chinese nationals studying in Cambridge, which represents around 8% of our student body.

 

Strategic activities with China

Below is a list of the main, strategic activities with China in the last 12 months. 

The Cambridge Nanjing Centre

The Cambridge Nanjing Centre held the opening ceremony for its new building in Nanjing and a symposium on brain science in September 2021. Five research projects from three Schools (Technology, Physical Sciences and Clinical Medicine) have started and another eight projects are in discussion.

Tsinghua – Cambridge Joint Research Initiative Fund

The Tsinghua - Cambridge Joint Research Initiative Fund was established in 2019 to strengthen research collaborations between academics in the two institutions. To date, the Initiative has funded 17 collaborative projects. The Initiative is currently issuing a call to fund collaborative projects to address challenges relating to the climate emergency and the transition to a zero-carbon future.

Cambridge Judge Business School’s Global EMBA programme

Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS), and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone of Shenzhen (Qianhai) signed a memorandum of intent in March 2020 to jointly advance long-term collaboration in business and management. As part of the collaboration, CJBS proposed a Global EMBA programme which will have educational delivery in both Shenzhen in China, and in Cambridge. General Board’s Education Committee (GBEC) approved the proposal at its meeting in February 2021.

Global Humanities

Global Humanities is an initiative led by School of Arts and Humanities, which seeks to advance the Humanities as a common enterprise, incorporating traditional and new ways of scholarship and developing novel ways of teaching and researching. It is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and universities in China, India, the Middle East and Latin America. Three Chinese universities participate in the collaboration – Fudan University, Nanjing University and University of Cape Town.