Aalto University to establish college in Shanghai in cooperation with Tongji University


Aalto University and Tongji University in China will establish a new college in Shanghai in the coming autumn. Aalto will participate with three of its Master's degree programmes. The first year of the Master's degree programmes will be held in China and the second in Finland.

With Tongji University, Aalto University organizes three Master's degree programmes at the Shanghai International College of Design and Innovation. Photo: Aalto University.

Three Master's degree programmes from Aalto University will be part of the programmes of the Shanghai International College of Design and Innovation (Shanghai D&I). The teaching of the Master's degree programmes will begin in Shanghai in the coming autumn, and the programmes’ first Chinese students will arrive in Otaniemi in autumn 2018.

This is Aalto University's first tailored educational cooperation programme, and reportedly the first model of its kind in Finland as well. Tailored education means providing a commissioned education service to an external client, in this case Tongji University. The agreement between Aalto and Tongji is based on the model for international cooperation that has been approved by the Ministry of Education of China.

The Presidents from Aalto and Tongji signed the agreement for the tailored education programme in Beijing on Thursday, 29 June, as part of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's trip to China.

Shanghai D&I students can choose from three different Master's degree programmes in the fields of design and sustainable development: International Design Business Management, Creative Sustainability, and Collaborative and Industrial Design. The contents of each programme will be based on Aalto's current Master's degree programmes. In addition, Shanghai D&I will offer bachelor's students the Aaltonaut minor studies programme on product development, developed by the Aalto University Design Factory.

‘Shanghai is of much interest to Aalto University, as it is one of China's largest cities, a big hub for business, and a continuously developing centre for design. Our close collaboration with Tongji University will provide Aalto students and staff with new opportunities for learning and research,’ says Ilkka Niemelä, who will become the President of Aalto University on 1 July. 

The cooperation between Aalto and Tongji has been ongoing for years. Tongji University is among China’s 15 best universities and especially renowned for its engineering, business and architecture programs. The college of Design and Innovation of Tongji University is now one of the most internationally renowned design schools in China.

‘With innovation prioritized as its top strategic goal, Shanghai is devoted to transforming from a city that used to rely heavily on conventional industries to the one where high-tech industries and new economies prosper. To achieve this goal, design is playing an important role,’ notes Lou Yongqi, the Dean of Tongji University.

Further information:

Head of International Affairs Mari-Anna Suurmunne, Aalto University, tel. +358 40 35 38321
Head of Learning Services Eija Zitting, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 364 7778