The University of New England has signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Minzu University in Beijing, China. This strategic agreement promotes cultural exchanges, cooperative education programmes, joint academic supervision of postgraduate students, and the opportunity for further engagement in joint academic research.
Minzu University is a world-renowned university, known for its high representation of ethnic minorities and international students.
UNE Vice-Chancellor Annabelle Duncan said that this partnership is breaking new ground in international university collaboration.
“UNE and Minzu University have committed to developing a new paradigm in international collaboration,” Professor Duncan said.
“This involves laying the foundation for cultural diversity, contextual worldviews and exchange of knowledge transfer. It will broaden opportunities for improving student and staff supervision, internationalise the curriculums, and build closer discipline-specific collegiality through new research opportunities.”
Both institutions aim to move well beyond student and faculty exchanges, course equivalencies for joint degree development, and accreditation. The partnership expects to develop innovative teaching and learning models at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to improve more meaningful and constructive approaches to learning and assessment. The idea is to not only meet regulatory requirements for accreditation purposes, but to develop new teaching and learning models that can be mutually beneficial and set the stage for a more robust and long-term inter-institutional partnership.
Minzu University President, Chen Li, also welcomed the partnership.
“Our ultimate aim is to show that this is not just any ordinary inter-institutional agreement. It is all about building a sense of genuine trust which utilises the strengths of both universities,” President Chen said.
Australian Ambassador to China, Her Excellency Frances Adamson, expressed strong interest in this new partnership, noting that Australian Government programs like the new Colombo Plan and the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships provided opportunities for financial support for initiatives like this.
The Commissioner of Ethnic Minority Education, An Qingping, and Deputy Director of Education, Guo Yan, expressed their support and said that they view this partnership as an initiative that will bring deeper commitments over time.