Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A great tour of Asia

It was great to spend a weekend at home after more than three weeks abroad. I'm back out on the road again this week though, visiting our brand new Melbourne campus (which is looking fantastic by the way) and also attending some meetings in Canberra. The cold mornings in Canberra certainly make me feel proud to call Queensland home. 

Travelling between meetings I've also been able to reflect on my visit to Asia which included Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Mongolia. It was such a great opportunity for the Chancellor and I to visit leading institutions in those regions and to talk to our counterparts about possible partnerships in the future. 

It was also wonderful catching up with our many international alumni and learning more about their time in Australia while studying at CQUniversity and how this experience has changed their lives. 

There were plenty of highlights throughout the tour and I look forward to being able to go back as a tourist to these destinations soon - especially Mongolia. While not traditionally billed as tourist hot spot I was very taken with the beauty of the country, it's amazing culture and fascinating history. It's definitely a must see for all serious travelers. 

Below are some of the highlights and pictures from the trip!

The Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Phillip Green attended the CQUniversity alumni networking event there. 

We were very grateful to Dr David Sze and Dr Gavin Chau who came over from Macau for the Hong Kong alumni event. They were from the City University of Macau and are keen to partner with us in the management area.

The tour allowed us to meet with some of our most distinguished alumni. Here the Chancellor and I are pictured with Wai man Woo. He studied at our Melbourne campus and was awarded an MBA. Now he is a very successful businessman and is heavily involved in community services, including being Chairman of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Council and an honorary adviser to the Hong Kong Kowloon City Industry and Commerce Association.

We also visited the Hong Kong College of Technology to discuss possible partnerships between our institutions. 

One of the highlights of the tour was signing an Memorandum of Cooperation with Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering. It will be great to work with President Luo Shao Ming to bring our two universities closer together in the future. We are planning exchanges and joint programs.

Another highlight was travelling to Chengdu to visit South West Jiaotong University. This is one of China's leading universities and the absolute leader in railway engineering. It is well known that one of CQUniversity's main research strengths is railway engineering - so the two universities could have a good partnership. It was good to meet with Vice President Xiaoyun Feng to discuss possible links.

It was great meeting with alumni and hearing about their fond memories of their time at CQUniversity. 

We went to Mongolia to discuss VET linkages and and opportunities for CQUniversity to attract more Mongolian students. Again we also had an opportunity to meet with our alumni in the region.

Mongolia is very important to CQUniversity. We have more Mongolian students than any other Australian University and we have many great alumni in the country. There are also many similarities between Mongolia and Central Queensland. Both are resource rich and have very large extractive industries. Both are challenged by the down turn in commodity price and both are rural with a vast land area and relatively few people. All of this makes it natural that CQUniversity and Mongolian organisations become partners.

This photo is bound to take pride of place on my office wall for many years to come. This is the Chancellor and I trying out our new academic regalia.

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