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Senator praises USQ for building China links

From left: Dr Luke van der Laan and Prof John Cole (USQ), Mr Dai Zhehua, Prof Pu Lijie and Dr Sun Wen (Nanjing University).
The University of Southern Queensland’s international reputation for specialised research is set to surge with the announcement of new partnerships with several of China’s most prestigious universities.

USQ has been building relationships with the Chinese universities to establish partnerships that will see expertise shared between the countries in two principle research areas — climate and agricultural innovation and developing ‘future’ fibre composite building materials.

The new partnerships have today drawn high praise from Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, who said USQ is playing a crucial role in ensuring Australians can take advantage of the opportunities the Asian Century presents.

The announcement comes off the back of the recent Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, which outlines long-term planning to forge closer economic and cultural bonds with our Asian neighbours.

“USQ is already developing key research links with Chinese universities and working to expand that partnership into the Asian Century,” Senator Evans said.

“It makes sense to share our brightest and best minds through partnerships and exchanges – that’s why the Gillard Government is working to strengthen science, research and industry links with our regional neighbours.”

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said USQ had been awarded $85,000 in Federal Government funding for two missions to China to establish formal partnerships with the Chinese universities. Workshops conducted in China recently represented the first stage in articulating tangible research innovations developed through the partnerships.

“This is a golden opportunity for USQ to build on the already outstanding research being done in these two fields,” Professor Thomas said.

“We have a lot to offer the Chinese universities in this situation, but the partnerships will also provide our researchers with a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the world.”

Professor Thomas said the recent developments were integral to her long-term plan for USQ to establish recognised teaching and research links throughout the world.

The missions conducted in September saw high-level meetings between USQ senior executives and Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, Nanjing University of Technology, Tongji University, China Academy of Science, Shanghai University, China Agricultural University and Central University of Finance and Economics.

The USQ delegation received high praise from the Australian Government’s Austrade office in China, which acknowledged the university’s approach to building relationships in China as “best practice” and a model for other organisations to follow.

The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) from the University of Queensland is featured as an Australian associate and, together with USQ, represents a zone of excellence and international point of reference in the agricultural innovation research domain.

“The research capabilities in China will strengthen this collaboration to the benefit of both national governments to the point it can become a point of reference for best practice in these fields for the rest of the world.”

Media contact:

Jim Campbell, USQ Media, +617 4631 2977, jim.campbell@usq.edu.au

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