Collaborative education program in China set to expand

Published 23 March 2011

wuxiThe University of New England, in partnership with Chiway Education Holding Group, is planning a major expansion of its educational activities in China.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at UNE this week opens the way for the expansion of a collaborative arrangement that currently brings about 100 students to UNE each year from China’s Wuxi South Ocean College (WSOC). The MOU renews a decade-old relationship that has been very productive for UNE, Chiway, the students themselves – and the Armidale community, which has welcomed hundreds of students from WSOC over the past decade.

Chiway Education Holding Group owns WSOC, and the discussions at UNE this week have prepared the way for an agreement that would see the expansion of the Wuxi program to include educational institutions owned by – or partnered with – Chiway in 10 other Chinese cities.

UNE first established a relationship with WSOC in 2000. Under the current model, WSOC students enrol in a WSOC Diploma program for 2.5 years and then come to UNE for 1.5 years. The pathway involves business disciplines (particularly accounting), with UNE providing advanced standing for 12 units completed at WSOC.

Mr Qian Jianrong, the President of Chiway Holding Group, visited UNE earlier this week with a delegation from WSOC accompanied by the President of WSOC, Professor Zhou Xiaoxing. Mr Qian was warmly welcomed to the University by UNE’s Chancellor, Dr Richard Torbay, Deputy Chancellor, Mr Scott Williams, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber. Professor Barber and other members of UNE’s senior leadership team discussed with Chiway the plans to expand the collaborative program to 10 other Chinese cities by 2016. They also discussed possible opportunities for UNE to support further mutually beneficial growth with the Chiway Education Holding Group as it expands its education business in South East Asia.

Professor Barber said the MOU marked the next stage in one of UNE’s most important and successful international partnerships. “We value highly our long-standing relationship with Wuxi South Ocean College and Chiway,” he said, “and look forward to working together to expand the program for our mutual benefit.”

Mr Qian, the Chiway President, said he was pleased to be visiting UNE again, and to be discussing the expansion of a particularly successful educational program and an international relationship that had proved its strength and durability.

The discussions this week, and the signing of the MOU, have paved the way for a detailed evaluation of the expansion plans.

THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here expands to show Mr Qian Jianrong (left) shaking hands with Professor Barber after the signing of the MOU. Looking on are Mr Chris Patton, UNE’s Chief Development Officer (centre) and Professor Zhou Xiaoxing, President of Wuxi South Ocean College.