MORE Chinese students than ever will celebrate their New Year at a North-East university later today.

About 450 students from China will mark the Year of the Ram at a double celebration at Sunderland University's Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's and student venue Manor Quay.

Although the Chinese New Year isn't until tomorrow, the time difference means it takes place in England at about 4pm.

At 6pm, the university's Centre for International Education will hold a party at Manor Quay, where there will be traditional songs, dancing, a Chinese meal, karaoke and disco.

The New Year celebrations at the university have grown considerably over the past few years. The Chinese student community has grown by 1,500 per cent since 2000.