Flinders University has established collaborative research and education centres with two of China’s top tier universities.
Flinders Deputy Vice-Chancellors Professor David Day [pictured] and Professor Dean Forbes led a 16-strong delegation of senior academics and administrators to attend extended workshops with Hunan University and Central South University, both located in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.
The two workshops, held in early June, have established a Joint Research and Education Collaboration Centre (JRECC) with each university to act as an umbrella for ongoing collaboration for an initial five year-period.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber described the Centre’s creation as a bold initiative.
“Flinders University has had a memorandum of understanding and ongoing involvement with both universities since 2009: the JRECC will now act as a platform for intensive collaboration across several research areas and educational programs.”
Both Chinese universities are among the so-called ‘985 Project’ institutions – the top five per cent of Chinese universities – that number only 39 in all.
“We have a number of key areas of research and education in our Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Engineering that make this collaboration a natural match,” Professor Barber said.
“Hunan University has a very strong reputation for its research and education across a wide range of engineering fields, and there is strong potential for co-operative ventures with Flinders in some of our areas of strength such as chemical engineering, material sciences and nanotechnology, environmental engineering and biotechnology,” he said.
“Central South University is well known for its medical research and education, offering opportunities to engage with Flinders University’s expertise in biomedical engineering, nanotechnology and biotechnology, reproductive medicine and cancer medicine, and also with our programs in public health, nutrition and dietetics, general practice and nursing and midwifery.”
Professor Barber said successfully establishing close links with two large and prominent Chinese universities was a highly significant step for Flinders and for Australian education overseas.
“The Centre will contribute substantially to the ambitions of internationalisation among all three universities, and will facilitate government and industrial funding support for teaching and research programs in both countries,” he said.
“We see this as this as the conduit for a long and productive relationship.”