A senior delegation from the Guangdong University of Business (GUBS), located in Guangdong Province, China, visited Murdoch University today to present a prestigious award to Murdoch’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Gary Martin.
The delegation, headed by GUBS First Vice President Professor Yong Heming, awarded an honorary professorship to Professor Martin at a special ceremony at Murdoch University’s South Street campus.
It is the first time GUBS has awarded an honorary professorship to an Australian.
GUBS is one of the key institutions in higher learning in Guangdong Province and has approximately 23,000 students studying undergraduate and graduate programs in economics, management, law, English, Chinese literature, and science and engineering.
“Our university has awarded an honorary professorship to Professor Martin for his outstanding leadership in advancing international education relationships in China and with our university,” Professor Yong said.
“Professor Martin has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for GUBS students to have a social and educational experience in Perth and is well recognised across China for building strategic relationships with Chinese universities.”
Professor Martin, who is also Chairman of Perth Education City, said that he was delighted to receive an award from such a highly-esteemed Chinese university as GUBS.
“We have worked very closely with GUBS to provide opportunities for business and media students to complete part of their degree studies at Murdoch,” he said.
Professor Martin said that the university’s relationship with GUBS was part of Murdoch’s comprehensive China Engagement Strategy which had multiple objectives.
“We embarked upon the engagement strategy because we felt that it was important for Murdoch to be strongly linked with Australia’s largest trading partner,” Professor Martin said.
“We work closely with like-minded institutions in China so that there are clear educational, cultural and economic benefits to Murdoch and our partners and the communities that our institutions serve.
“One key objective relates to how we make Murdoch University an attractive option for Chinese students so that they can complete part of their qualification here. We also want to give Murdoch students the opportunity to study at our partner institutions.
“Other objectives relate to how we can work collaboratively to advance our research and research training and how we can deliver certain Murdoch courses in partnership with Chinese universities in China.”
Professor Martin said that over the past two years Murdoch had finalised around 20 agreements with Chinese universities in Eastern China, Northern China and Southern China.
A key component of Murdoch’s engagement strategy was focussed in Zhejiang Province situated on China’s south-eastern coast but was not limited to that area in China, Professor Martin said.
“We have developed a strong relationship with Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou which has officially become our sister university.
“As part of that arrangement, several groups of Chinese students have travelled to Murdoch for two weeks at a time experiencing life on an Australian campus, and we have also sent Murdoch students to ZJUT.”
Professor Martin said that partnerships with Chinese universities were expected to result in around 300 Chinese students commencing study at Murdoch each year, from the beginning of next year.
“Our partnership arrangements between Murdoch and Chinese universities cover a broad range of disciplines including business, information technology, media and communications, renewable energy, engineering and biomedical science,” he said.
Professor Martin said the key to engagement with Chinese universities was the development of mutual relationships at all levels.
“It is not simply enough to have agreements signed by the respective vice chancellors of universities,” he added.
“There needs to be engagement of academic and general staff at all levels of the university if these relationships are to deliver benefits for both universities.”