The concept of 同舟共济, or tong zhou gong ji, translates from Mandarin as ‘people on the same boat should assist each other’, reflecting a mutual commitment to research and education that underpins UQ’s relationship with China.
In addition to having nearly 3000 Chinese students, UQ has approximately 114 formal research and academic agreements with more than 50 official Chinese partners. The partnerships include relationships with government bodies such as the China Scholarship Council and Confucius Institute Headquarters; research institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Science, Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; all members of the prestigious C9 league universities and businesses including Baosteel Group Corporation and Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group.
“We have research collaborations and exchange agreements with almost every one of the top 44 universities in China,” said Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Max Lu.
As a Chinese-born scholar, Professor Lu is a strong advocate for UQ’s relationship with China, which has continued to grow with new learning, research and engagement initiatives. Personally, Lu has been lauded for his significant research in materials science and nanotechnology, receiving a prestigious award from President Hu Jintao for his “distinguished and sustained contributions to collaboration with China in science and technology”.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj shares Lu’s passion for engagement with China. In 2013, he was announced as an Honorary Professor at Tianjin University in China. Professor Høj is also a senior consultant on the board of the Confucius Institutes’ headquarters, known as Hanban. He is the first consultant from a university in Australia and the Oceania region to be honoured with this role.
Chinese students form the largest group of international students in Australian universities, and China is the second most popular destination for students from Australia taking an international study experience. Linkages exist with academics, teams of scholars and schools, faculties and institutes, with research underway in food and water security, energy, health, climate change, sustainability and business.
The Confucius Institute promotes the learning of Chinese language and culture at the University and in the community, and initiates, facilitates and promotes student and staff exchanges and research collaborations with a focus on Chinese studies and science, engineering and technology. The Institute supported UQ in negotiating a joint PhD supervision program with Tianjin University, China’s oldest higher education institution in its modern history. Initial graduations are expected in 2015. “The program has been very well received by students,” said Director of the Confucius Institute, Professor Ping Chen.
Along with partners including the University of New South Wales, Monash University and the University of Wollongong, UQ established the Baosteel–Australia Joint Research and Development Centre with the Baosteel Group Corporation. “It seeks to create fundamental knowledge and exploitable technologies with commercial relevance to the steel industry, and focuses on metallurgy and new materials, energy utilisation, environmental sustainability and other new technologies,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (International) Professor Monique Skidmore.
UQ has over 3000 alumni in China, with alumni associations in Shanghai and Beijing. UQ also arguably boasts the largest concentration of academics with Chinese origins in Australia, across fields including Science; Engineering; Medicine; Humanities and Social Science; and Business, Economics and Law.
Such linkages testify to UQ’s extensive ties with China and reputation as a top 100 university that facilitates unique international career opportunities. “International experience, mobility and placements integrated into research partnerships will improve student experiences,” said Lu. “In a globalised world, any institution offering these types of opportunities will attract more top students and researchers who are globally minded.”
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This story originally appeared in the Winter 2014 edition of Contact Magazine.
昆士兰大学与新南威尔士大学、莫纳什大学和卧龙岗大学等合作机构一起，与宝钢集团公司成立了宝钢 – 澳大利亚联合研究和发展中心。