The Danish universities’ partnership with China

Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC) originates from the comprehensive strategic partnership between Denmark and China (established in 2008) which provides a framework for cooperation in a number of focus areas, including research, innovation and education. The overall mission of SDC is to add value to Danish and Chinese societies through knowledge collaboration that enriches both countries and contributes to solving future challenges.

Since its formal establishment in 2010, the Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research has developed into a well-established partnership between leading research environments in Denmark and China. SDC graduates are in high demand and find employment in private companies and government institutions all over the world.


February 2008

The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation presents its strategy for knowledge-based collaboration between Denmark and China as part of the Danish Government’s action plan to provide a comprehensive framework for collaboration between Denmark and China. Among the many suggested initiatives is the establishment of a ‘Sino-Danish University’ in China to serve as a visible and accessible platform for Danish universities’ interaction with Chinese knowledge institutions and authorities.

October 2008

After several rounds of negotiations the Danish universities and Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS) sign a Memorandum of Understanding and thereby agree to jointly develop the Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research. The ceremony is witnessed by the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Chairman of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy Zheng Bijian.

October 2009

More than a hundred Danish and Chinese researchers participate in the first SDC Symposium in Beijing to develop the framework for SDC’s future research collaboration. The two-day event combines plenary presentations with focused discussions in each of SDC’s selected research areas: Water and Environment; Sustainable Energy; Nanoscience; Social Sciences; and Life Sciences.

April 2010

In the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Chairman of the Danish Rectors' Conference Jens Oddershede and President of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) Bai Chunli sign the Partnership Agreement which marks the formal establishment of the Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research. The ceremony is witnessed by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

September 2012

SDC opens its doors for the first cohort of master’s degree students to the four master’s programmes: Neuroscience and Neuroimaging; Water and Environment; Innovation Management; and Public Management and Social Development. In total, 104 Danish and Chinese students enrol and start their studies at UCAS’ Olympic Village campus in Beijing.

The Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and President of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Bai Chunli attend SDC’s Opening Ceremony.

July 2013

After one year at UCAS’ Olympic Village campus, SDC moves all educational activities to UCAS’ Zhongguancun campus in Beijing.

September 2013

SDC opens three new master’s programmes: Nanoscience and Technology; Omics (renamed Life Science Engineering and Informatics in 2018); and Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.

April 2014

Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark breaks ground for the House of the Danish Industry Foundation on UCAS' Yanqihu campus together with President of Chinese Academy of Sciences Bai Chunli. The building will house many of SDC’s activities and is made possible by a large donation from The Danish Industry Foundation.

July 2014

The first SDC graduates are celebrated at a ceremony in China. After two years of study, the graduates are ready to meet the world.

July 2015

Claus Davidsen, from SDC’s Water and Environment research area, is the first Danish SDC PhD to be awarded a double degree from the Technical University of Denmark and UCAS. President of UCAS Ding Zhongli personally awards the diploma to Claus Davidsen at UCAS’ Graduation Ceremony in Beijing.

September 2017

HRH Crown Prince Frederik attends the inauguration of SDC’s new home in China, The House of the Danish Industry Foundation. The building, which is a distinct landmark with unique Danish identity located in China, perfectly reflects the spirit of the collaboration.

September 2017

SDC launches its Food and Health research area.

September 2020

SDC enrols the first cohort of master’s degree students in the master’s programme International Food Quality and Health. Due to Covid-19, the students study online.

December 2020

SDC celebrates its 10th anniversary. More than 200 guests participate in the celebration in the House of the Danish Industry Foundation and online. Among the guests is the Ambassador of Denmark to China Thomas Østrup Møller.

Background documents