Collaboration with Chinese university to be expanded

Published 20 November 2009

heuphotoA program of collaboration between the University of New England (UNE) and Harbin Engineering University (HEU) in China that has brought more than 100 students from Harbin to UNE since 2004 is to be expanded.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor of UNE, Professor Graham Webb, who is in Harbin this week for discussions with the President of HEU, Professor Liu Zhigang, said the two universities would sign a new agreement to expand the level of collaboration and engagement over a wider range of projects.

Also involved in the discussions were the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of UNE’s Faculty of The Professions, Professor Victor Minichiello, and members of the senior executive staff of HEU including Vice President Professor Yu Yao and Professor Liu Ping, Dean of HEU’s College of International Cooperative Education.

“UNE has had a very productive relationship with HEU,” Professor Webb said. “Students complete a 2+2 program that involves two years of study in both Harbin and Armidale. Nearly 60 students from Harbin have graduated with either a Bachelor of Computer Science or a Bachelor of Financial Administration degree from UNE, and a small number of them have decided to continue their studies with UNE by completing a Master’s degree. There are 58 HEU students enrolled at UNE this year.”

Professor Webb said that this week’s discussions had explored how UNE students could spend time studying in Harbin. “We are looking at innovative ways to enrich the UNE learning experience and for our students to engage globally,” he said. “The discussions we have had in Harbin have identified a number of possible models through which we can achieve this important objective.

“Given the role China is playing in the world economy and its influence in world affairs, providing opportunities for our UNE students to come to HEU to study Chinese culture and learn a new language is an exciting possibility.”

Professor Liu Zhigang said that Harbin Engineering University (pictured here) held a unique position in China, with a strong commitment to the advancement of learning through higher education and research. The University has passed its half-century mark, and there are now more than 23,000 students studying at HEU, including more than 1,000 PhD candidates.