Edith Cowan University and China’s University of Jinan have launched a program of collaboration and exchange, focusing on opportunities in each respective institutions’ faculty of engineering.
Chancellor Cheng Xin led a delegation of officials from the University of Jinan in May, where a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two schools to explore collaborative engineering projects.
The arrangement builds on a 14-year relationship between the universities, which began after the City of Joondalup entered a sister city partnership with Jinan.
ECU and the University of Jinan have collaborated in their schools of business and information technology since that time.
ECU school of engineering executive dean Daryoush Habibi said while engineering would be the first focus of the MOU, the schools were open to collaborate in all areas where there was a mutual area of interest.
Dr Habibi said the engineering collaboration would not only give researchers the opportunity to access infrastructure and facilities, but also to take advantage of funding opportunities.
ECU students will also be given the opportunity to spend two weeks in academic programs with the University of Jinan, transitioning to a seven-week work placement with affiliated companies in Jinan.
Dr Habibi said he hoped the arrangement would build on the City of Joondalup, and Western Australia’s strategic economic partnership with China, describing the relationship as invaluable to the university.
The collaboration adds to a growing list of agreements and partnerships between Australian and Chinese educational institutions.
Universities Australia survey data shows the number of agreements covering student and staff exchange, studying abroad and research collaboration grew from 884 in 2012 to 1,402 in 2016.
There are also 14 Confucius Institutes and 67 Confucius Classrooms operating in Australia.
Australia and China are also each other’s third most frequent partners for collaboration in scientific research.
Universities Australia said the number of joint scientific publications involving Chinese and Australian authors had more than doubled over the past four years.
A total of six joint higher education schools have been established between Australian and Chinese partners within Chinese host universities, including collaborations between Shanghai University and the University of Technology Sydney, Liaoning University and Victoria University, and between Southwest University and the University of Western Australia.
Editor’s note: This article was written prior to China’s Ministry of Education announcing on July 6 that it would cancel 234 joint education projects between Chinese universities and global educational institutions, including 45 in Australia. Australia China Business Review understands the agreement between ECU and Jinan University will not be affected by this policy change.