Murdoch expands China research links

October 19, 2012

Professor David Morrison with NWAFU President Professor Sun Qixin

Murdoch University is building its relationships with research institutions in China in order to develop its research strengths.

China’s key areas for research development include crop science, biotechnology, sustainability and renewable energy – all areas where Murdoch University’s research is ranked at world standard or better.

Murdoch’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Professor David Morrison visited top level institutions in China recently, including the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Peking University, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU) and Communication University of China (CUC), to further discussions on research collaborations.

“Murdoch is committed to developing mutually beneficial and sustainable research partnerships with China,” said Professor Morrison.

“China strives to be a leading nation in innovation and scientific development. This admirable goal is reflected in its commitment to research and development funding, which is estimated to reach 2.2 per cent of GDP during the 12th Five Year Plan (2011 – 2015) period, and could reach 2.5 per cent by 2020.

“Murdoch has research strengths across several of China’s key areas for research development. They include crop science, biotechnology, sustainability, and renewable energy. Our research in these areas is ranked at world standard or better. I believe that there is much that we can learn from China, and they from us.”

In June, Murdoch and CUC established a joint research centre to investigate media and communications management in Australia, China and across the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific Centre for Media Economics and Communications Management Research allows academics from both institutions to forge collaborations and undertake comparative investigations with greater ease.

Professor Morrison’s visit to NWAFU follows on from a recent visit to Murdoch University by NWAFU’s Vice President Professor Zhao Zhong, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities which sets the nature of future collaborative projects. These will include research, joint supervision and hosting of PhD students, staff exchanges, training and teaching, student exchanges and summer school programs.

As part of this partnership, Murdoch hosted a group of 18 exchange students from NWAFU in July who spent four weeks learning about plant biosecurity and plant science. And later this year, a Murdoch University delegation will be participating in an International Forum for Cooperation in Agricultural Science and Technology to be held in NWAFU.

As a result of Professor Morrison’s visit, further projects have emerged. In November, Murdoch will host two outstanding tourism academics from Peking University. During their visit they will participate in various interdisciplinary group discussions with the aim of establishing joint research projects and joint publications. They will also meet with various government agencies and visit sites in WA’s regional areas where Murdoch carries out eco/geotourism research.

Murdoch will also co-host the 2014 International Tourism Studies Association Conference (ITSA) in Perth. ITSA is supported by the Chinese Central Government and its mission is to bridge the gaps in tourism studies and research, education, and training between developed and developing countries, and also between China and the world.

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