Two Flinders University postgraduate courses taught in China have been chosen by the Chinese Ministry of Education as quality benchmarks in reviewing the hundreds of overseas-based courses offered in China.
“This effectively places both of our Masters courses taught with Nankai University in the top ten of about 600 programs offered in China by overseas institutions,” said Flinders Deputy-Vice Chancellor (International), Professor Dean Forbes.
Flinders, in collaboration with Nankai University, offers a Masters of Arts (International Relations in Economy and Trade) and a Masters of Hospital Administration. The two courses have produced more than 1500 graduates since teaching began a decade ago.
While based in Tianjin, Nankai University has a national role in China and the Flinders Masters classes are now also taught in several of China’s major cities and key regional centres.
Professor Forbes said the quality of the Flinders programs is also reflected in the approval of a second intake for the International Relations course that will effectively double student numbers, increasing the number of commencing students up to 230 each year.
“The fact that the Ministry and Nankai have the confidence to increase our annual quota of students is a very good sign,” Professor Forbes said.
Following a successful joint seminar on the impact of the Global Financial Crisis mounted with Nankai last year, Professor Forbes said the two universities are seeking to extend research collaborations across the social sciences.
Professor Forbes said that Flinders is also helping to disseminate improved practice in China’s health services through the influence of “a senior and significant group” of graduates of the Masters in Hospital Administration, many of whom hold executive positions in major Chinese hospitals. Numbers of the graduates are continuing their studies to PhD level at elite universities in China, and several have published substantial books.
“The impact we are having goes beyond our graduates to the dissemination of knowledge and good practice throughout China,” Professor Forbes said.
“There is real evidence that the programs are not just producing high quality graduates overall, but that they are achieving great things.”
Professor Forbes said the relationship between Flinders and Nankai has shown itself to be significant and durable, and is set to expand into new areas.
“We’ve had several Nankai delegations from the sciences and health sciences area seeking to identify other forms of co-operation,” he said.