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Chinese Microblog                                             December 2019                                     Embassy Website 
1. Message from the Minister Counsellor
2. Showcase Australian education @ CACIE 2019
3. Celebrating two decades of Chinese Australian higher education collaboration
4. Go8 signs new MoU with CEAIE and leads discussion on employability prospects of Australian higher education graduates in China
5. China visit by Australian Government department of Education officials
6. VET Policy Briefing Shanghai
7. 70 year celebration
8. Australian Government Destination Australia Program opens for applications from students
9. Education team visits Hainan
10. Alumni Story - Associate Professor Wu Maoying 
Message from the Minister Counsellor

It snowed in Beijing last week!  Some say it may be the only snow we see this season, but in any case, it marks the start of Winter and the drawing to a close of 2019.  

This third quarter was an incredibly productive period for our team, and we feel privileged to have been involved in many meetings, conferences, delegation visits and events. It was great to see solid Australian representation at this year's China Annual Conference on International Education including from Universities Australia, Group of Eight, TDA and VETASSESS. Jarrod and I were also grateful for the opportunity to present at the conference. 

We were very pleased to host the second of our China-Australia VET Policy Briefings in Shanghai, and thank again our presenters Mr Zhao Ning (Director, Division of Vocational Education, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission), Ms Greta Doherty (Branch Manager, International Group, Australian Government Department of Education), Ms Katerina Lawler (Branch Manager, VET Policy, VET Reform Group, Australian Government Department of Education), Mr Rick Zhao (Director of China Office, VETASSESS) and all participants. The Briefing was a useful session for information exchange and identifying areas for further collaboration. We hope to be back in Shanghai for a further VET Briefing in 2020 – watch this space!

We were also pleased to be involved, along with Austrade, in the Group of Eight's employability and research dialogue held at the Embassy. There is increasing focus on the employability of graduates and this event provided a good opportunity to hear from employers in China about what they are looking for in their future employees in terms of qualifications, skills and other attributes.

The big news is that Australia’s new scholarships program – Destination Australia – has officially commenced.  The program aims to see more students study in Australia’s vibrant regions. To inspire study in the regions, please see Associate Professor Wu’s alumni story at the end of this newsletter. Associate Professor Wu studied in Townsville, North Queensland at James Cook University.

Wishing you the best for a safe and happy festive season from all the team here in Beijing.


Showcase Australian education @ CACIE 2019

The 2019 China Annual Conference for International Education (CACIE) was held in Beijing from 17 to
20 October at the China National Convention Center. This annual event is hosted by our close partner –  the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE).

More than 3000 participants from across the world participated in the conference, including high level government officials from the Chinese Ministry of Education. The Education and Research Section presented at two sub forums/symposiums. Minister-Counsellor Brooke Hartigan showcased the latest developments in Chinese-Australian transnational education collaboration in higher education, research and schools. Meanwhile, First Secretary Jarrod Ross shared Australia’s experience with the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan since its establishment in 2014.

The conference theme this year was “Education 2035: A Dialogue with the Future of the World”. By 2035, China aims to have achieved a substantial level of modernisation and become an education powerhouse. The Education and Research Section will soon publish a separate policy update piece on China’s Education Modernisation 2035 Plan and its supporting implementation plan, released in February this year.

Photo: Brooke and Jarrod presenting at CACIE 2019
Celebrating two decades of Chinese-Australian higher education collaboration

Australia’s university sector representative body, Universities Australia (UA), has a long collaborative history with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and is also an official partner of the CEAIE’s flagship CACIE 2019 event.

On 17 October, the CEAIE and UA jointly hosted the 2019 Australia-China University Leaders’ Forum in Beijing with more than 80 representatives from 40 Australian and Chinese universities in attendance. The theme of the forum was “Building World-class Universities”, with subthemes of China and Australia’s innovation agenda, mobility internships and employability, transnational education, and technology in higher education.

The forum was followed by a dinner to celebrate the 20 years of collaboration between the two bodies.  Australia’s Ambassador to China, His Excellency Graham Fletcher congratulated the CEAIE and UA on their achievements at the celebration dinner.

Photo: Universities Australia CEO Ms Catriona Jackson delivering speech at the University Leaders' Forum
Photo: 2019 Australia-China University Leaders' Forum @ CACIE 2019
Go8 signs new MoU with CEAIE and leads discussion on employability prospects of Australian higher education graduates in China

On 17 October, Australia’s Group of Eight (Go8) and the CEAIE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deepen collaboration and establish the China-Australia University Alliance, which will be formally launched in 2020. The alliance aims to build a sustainable platform to facilitate and deepen research and education collaboration between leading research-intensive universities from China and Australia. The MoU was signed by Secretary-General of CEAIE Mr ZHAO Lingshan and CEO of Go8 Ms Vicki Thomson, and witnessed by CEAIE President LIU Limin, Deputy-Director of Ministry of Education’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges Mr LI Hai, and Australian Embassy Education and Research Minister Counsellor Brooke Hartigan.
Photo: CEAIE – Go8 MoU signing 
While in Beijing, the Go8 also hosted a dialogue event – “Go8-Employer Future Partnership Dialogue: Graduates, PhD students and research collaborations” at the Australian Embassy, China on 18 October. Austrade, with the assistance of the Education and Research Section, facilitated the event, and the event had broad Embassy support. Ambassador Graham Fletcher welcomed Chinese business representatives to the Embassy and acknowledged the Go8’s strong commitment to ensuring positive career prospects for their Chinese alumni.
Photo: Group photo at the Go8-Employer Future Partnership Dialogue: Graduates, PhD students and research collaborations
China visit by Australian Government Department of Education officials 

Earlier this year, Australian Government Department of Education Branch Managers Ms Greta Doherty (International Group) and Ms Katerina Lawler (VET Reform Group) paid an official visit to China. Their visit included meetings with government officials and higher education institution leaders in Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu and Shanghai.

While in Beijing, they met with national level government bodies including the Ministry of Education (MoE), China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), China Scholarship Council (CSC), China Institute for Vocational Technical Education (CIVTE), and China Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE). 

Photo: Greta and Katerina visits the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange with the Education team

They also met with Chinese universities that have developed extensive links with Australia, including Southwest University and East China Normal University.

Their visit to China concluded with the Australia-China VET Policy Briefing in Shanghai on 12 July, which was jointly held by the Education and Research Section of the Australian Embassy, China and Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

VET Policy Briefing Shanghai

On 12 July, the second VET Policy Briefing session was held in Shanghai following the successful inaugural session held in Beijing earlier this year. The session was organised by the Education and Research Section of the Australian Embassy, China at the Australian Consulate General in Shanghai. The event was supported by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and Austrade. The briefing provided an opportunity for Chinese and Australian VET leaders to discuss opportunities for future collaboration. The briefing is particularly timely given the release of China’s National Vocational Education Reform plan in February. Our office has recently updated our policy piece on the reform plan, click here to read it.

Photo: Group photo at the Australia-China VET Policy Briefing, Shanghai

Australia and China have a long history of cooperative engagement in education, and particularly so in vocational education and training (VET).  In 2017, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding recognising the importance of VET in national development and the value of international cooperation and policy dialogue in VET.  Under the MOU, both countries committed to regularly communicating and exchanging information on VET policy developments and reform. It is hoped that through ongoing conversation at events such as this that we can continue to uncover new areas for collaboration in vocational and technical education.   

70 year celebration 

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and also the establishment of the University of New South Wales (UNSW). In China, 70 years of age is referred to as “Guxi” (古稀), which translates to “rare and precious”.

To celebrate this “rare and precious” birthday and the long lasting educational link between China and UNSW, the university held a celebratory dinner in Beijing on 3 September, attended by Ambassador Graham Fletcher, President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Professor Ian Jacobs, Embassy representatives as well as students, staff and partners of UNSW. 

Photo: Ambassador Graham Fletcher speaking at the UNSW celebratory dinner on 3 September

An Alumni Award was presented at the dinner to Professor Yang Qixun. Professor Yang is China’s leading expert in the field of power system protection and has contributed greatly to China’s development. He was the first student from Mainland China to study at UNSW back in 1979.

Photo: Professor Yang Qixun in Australia in the 1970s
Photo: Professor Yang Qixun receiving Alumni Award at the UNSW celebratory dinner on 3 September

Following the celebration dinner, UNSW held the second Sino-Australia Science Future Summit on           4 September in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institutes of Science and Development (CASISD) and Nature Research.

Australian Government Destination Australia Program opens for applications from students 

The Australian Government Destination Australia Program 2020 round is open to international and domestic (Australian) students to apply to study in Australia’s regional areas from 1 November.

The aim of the Destination Australia Program is to attract and support international and domestic students to study in regional Australia, in order to grow and develop regional Australian tertiary education providers and offer students a high quality learning experience.

The Program was officially announced by Australian Minister for Education the Hon Dan Tehan MP on    19 August 2019. A total of 35 higher education and vocational education providers have been announced to offer these scholarships in 2020 at over 84 locations across Australia. Details of the successful providers are now available for students.

Education team visits Hainan 

On 3 July, Minister Counsellor Brooke Hartigan and Senior Manager LEI Xiaofeng attended the 8th VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) Transnational Conference in Haikou, Hainan Province, and Brooke delivered an opening speech. The conference was jointly hosted by five Victorian secondary schools along with Hainan High School Affiliated to Central China Normal University (CCNU). The theme of the event was “Shaping the Future of Transnational Education Together”.

One of the highlights of the event was the signing of an official agreement between the Hainan host school and Caroline Chisholm College to establish the first Hainan based VCE joint program. More than 3000 Chinese and Australian teachers attended the conference. 

Photo: VCE programe signing ceremony between Hainan Middle School Affiliated to CCNU and Caroline Chisholm College

While in Haikou, Brooke and Xiaofeng also met with leaders from Hainan Provincial Department of Education and visited institutions including Hainan College of Vocation and Technique and Hainan College of Economics and Business.

In July 2019, the Chinese Ministry of Education and Hainan Provincial Government released an official document to promote international education innovation and further open up Hainan to foreign educators.

Alumni story – Associate Professor Wu Maoying
In 2009, I had the opportunity to study at Australia’s James Cook University under the Australian Government Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships (superseded by the Australian Government Destination Australia Program in 2020). I chose James Cook University because of its reputation in tourism research – it was the first university in Australia to establish tourism courses with substantial research capacity and an efficient research team. I spent a total of four years studying and working at James Cook University, and living in the beautiful North Queensland City of Townsville, where I was able to connect deeply with people.
My academic gains have been substantial at James Cook University. My Professor – Dr Philip Pearce is the First Professor of Tourism in Australia, an expert in the area of tourism behaviour studies. He is strictly rigorous in his research but also has a good sense of humour when it comes to spending time with his students. As a senior professor, he is still very involved in practical day-to-day research, and provides guidance to young researchers like me. He is truly a role model!
I currently work at the School of Management, Zhejiang University, and have recently been promoted to Associated Professor. I currently lead two National Social Science Projects and have published over 70 papers – achievements that I would not be able to achieve without the academic training I received at James Cook University.
Photo: Associate Professor Wu at her graduation ceremony, James Cook University
James Cook University is situated in Townsville, a Northern Queensland city with just over 200,000 population. To study in a regional location like Townsville means you will have the real Aussie experience. Besides making friends at the university, I also met many lovely people in the city, including my homestay landlord, helpful neighbours and social workers. My landlord Roger and Wendy Kaus helped me settled when I first arrived to Australia, they introduced me to the Australian culture, including the political system and Australians’ love for animals, rugby and horse racing. They threw farewell party/tour for my departure and surprise party when I returned. My graduation was on the 12 March - the Chinese Arbor Day (tree planting). The Kaus family was very sweet - they planted a Jacaranda tree to celebrate this important milestone. These memories still melts my heart now when I think of them.
Photo: Associate Professor Wu with her Australian family

There are so many benefits to study at a regional campus: the opportunity to experience traditional Australian culture, an appropriate commute distance, and the right environment to focus on research. Personally, I also find living in a regional city to be a push factor for me to explore other Australian states and cities. I used to spend most of my vacation time traveling across Australia. To date, I have visited every Australian state except South Australia. The travels I had truly broadened my understanding and appreciation of Australia.

I have completed my scholarships program and returned to China for six years. During this period, I travelled back to Australia four times. The study experience has deeply connected me and Australia. I sincerely hope that more Chinese and Australian students are able to study abroad with scholarship support, and become important people- to-people bridge for the bilateral relationship.

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