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One of the top universities in the world is seeking a major landmark partnership with University of Canterbury which could hugely benefit Christchurch.
Tsinghua University of Beijing is ranked the top equal university in China and some of its leading officials met with University of Canterbury (UC) this week to begin a fresh partnership which will seek Christchurch students studying in Beijing.
Nello Angerilli, UC’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International/Student Services), said today Tsinghua accepted Chinese students from the top 0.6percent of 25 million post-secondary students and was arguably more difficult to enter than MIT in Massachusetts, Harvard, Stanford or Oxbridge.
``Christchurch and UC will benefit from rapid recognition of this accomplishment as local and potentially national Chinese community regard UC in a very positive light. This offer of partnership will be viewed as a significant sign of confidence by a very important foreign university that both UC and Christchurch are worthy of their attention and collaboration.''
Tsinghua has existing partnerships with Auckland and Otago universities but after considering the Canterbury story chose to add a third partner because of Canterbury’s demonstrable strengths, Angerilli said.
The Tsinghua officials indicated they are quite serious about developing collaborative degree programmes with the UC and expect as well to send students and staff to Christchurch, in addition to hosting UC students and staff there, he said.
``Tsinghua will join several other UC premier partners around the world where UC students will be able to take courses to complete their degree programmes while being taught by some of the best academics in the world and while socialising with some of the best students in the world. Also Tsinghua are keen for some of their students and staff to benefit from studying and learning here at Canterbury.’’
Opportunities will open for staff and student exchanges in the humanities, journalism and fine arts, teacher training, pathways in economics and finance, fast track master’s degrees and banking programmes, entrepreneurship and student innovation plans in science and a number of aspects of engineering.
UC Chancellor Dr John Wood said the seven Tsinghua delegates, including Professor Yuan Si, Vice President and Provost of Tsinghua University, represented one of UC’s most important partner institutions within the China and Asian region.
“China is New Zealand’s largest source of international students with over 300,000 of its students having studied in our country over the last decade,” Dr Wood said.
“There were 21,000 enrolments in New Zealand from China in 2010. Of these around 90 per cent were in the tertiary sector and it is estimated that that year Chinese students would have added around $600 million to the New Zealand economy.
“It seems to me that our two universities are an excellent fit. We both have history and reputation to support us. We both aspire to be world-class. We both strive to concentrate on what we do best, and where we are world-class, and above all to produce graduates who are both prepared and equipped to make a difference. That sounds like a recipe for constructive and enduring cooperation to me,” Dr Wood said.