One of the United Kingdom's most prestigious universities, Queen's University in Belfast, is setting up a college in China. About 1,000 Chinese students will study for degrees in pharmaceutical science at the new campus in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province.
The university will establish the China Queen's College in partnership with the China Medical University, one of China's top-ranked universities for health sciences.
The students will be trained by staff from both institutions.
Enrolment applications are now being taken for the new college, which is set to open next September. About 250 students a year are expected to enrol in the four-year degree programmes.
Northern Ireland Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry said the innovative venture highlighted the value of international collaboration in higher education.
"It will bring many long-term academic, economic and social benefits to both the institutions and the people they serve."
Queen's University has also signed collaborative agreements with Shanghai Jiaotong University, Peking University and the Chinese Scholarship Council.
These institutional agreements build upon the university's existing links in China, which include the £2.3 million (HK$28.5 million) Science Bridge project.
This project has seen Queen's University's research and technology used in the construction of Beijing's "Birds Nest" Olympic stadium, the 36-kilometre bridge across Hangzhou Bay and thermal power stations across China.
Queen's University president and vice-chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said the new partnership would provide many opportunities and deliver real results for society in China, in the UK and in Ireland.
"The establishment of the China Queen's College is a sign of the powerful relationships that Queen's University has built with its Chinese partners and a symbol of the good fortune for Northern Ireland through its strengthened links with an internationally recognised superpower," he said.
He described the establishment of the new China Queen's College as a "red-letter day for Queen's University Belfast, for Northern Ireland and for China".
A growing number of overseas universities are establishing a presence in China.