UNIVERSITY College Dublin is to open a campus in China.
The Chinese government is investing €300m to establish a new international university campus of UCD in the coastal city of Yantai in the province of Shandong.
It is hoped that the 300-acre international UCD campus will provide a pipeline of Chinese students to Ireland, as well as support for Irish enterprises looking to do business with the economic powerhouse.
UCD Yantai will be the first comprehensive university in northern China and just the fifth such institution across the country.
UCD Yantai's international classification also means that fees will be "substantially more" for Chinese students than they are for the country's four other international universities.
While UCD is not investing capital in the development, it does intend to send both lecturers and students to the new campus.
The Dublin university also hopes to benefit from the international rate in fees that Chinese students will pay while studying here. It also hopes for research collaborations and an increased reputation.
The international UCD campus will also have a full university curriculum covering life sciences, engineering, mathematics, computer sciences, business, humanities and social sciences.
It is predicted that UCD Yantai will launch in 2016 and that the new university will have a student population of between 7,500 and 10,000 students over the first five to seven years of its existence.
Courses will be delivered through English and students graduate with a UCD degree.
The move has been hailed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny as a landmark event and it is hoped the link will bring more high-spending Chinese to our shores, as well as new investment.
"It is also significant and welcome that 1,000 UCD Yantai students a year will study in Ireland as part of their degree course," he said.
The new university will also include a major incubator centre, which will support local start-up companies and showcase Ireland as the preferred European base for Chinese companies.
UCD president Hugh Brady said: "The development provides Ireland with a new bridgehead into one of China's most economically vibrant provinces."