As you read this, I will be in China visiting some of its top ten universities.
I was invited to go to on this trip by Katy Gallagher, the ACT Chief Minister, and the third member of our delegation will be Professor Stephen Parker, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra.
It’s not my first time visiting China and certainly not the first time as a University representative, nor with a politician.
In fact, I’ve been to China more times that I can remember, and almost all of them have been related to University research and educational activities.
These sorts of visits are incredibly important for our University and our city, because international students are important economically as well as culturally and socially.
As senior leaders visiting China directly, we solidify the links that bind our education systems together in a way that cannot be accomplished otherwise.
China and Chinese culture prioritises relationships and respect, and developing a deep understanding of each other’s situation is important for this venture to be successful.
Attracting students from China is about building partnership with universities and we have joint programs which are important to nurture.
So, this trip is not a symbolic gesture, this is a very important part of building our international student intake from this rapidly economically growing country.
The Chief Minister is leading this delegation and that is a very powerful endorsement of Higher Education in the ACT and it will be seen and read as such by partners and Government in China.
While in China I’ll be travelling to Shanghai, Xuzhou, Hangshou, Peking and Nanjing to meet with some of the best universities in the country and also with education agents and other stakeholders.
The ACT Chief Minister and the ACT Government have made a commitment to Study Canberra, a series of initiatives which promote the Nation’s capital as an education hub for international students.