Monday, June 8, 2015

MOU signing at Zhongkai University

I was very pleased to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation with Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering. It will be great to be working with President Luo Shao Ming to bring our two universities closer together in the future. We are planning exchanges and joint programs.

A delegation form Zhongkai University will be visiting our Bundberg and Rockhampton Campuses in July. tn delegation will be led by Professor Mei Mei Xiang the Vice President of the University. 

Food security will be a major issue for both China and Australia in the future so it is great that two leading agricultural universities are getting together like this.

Here is a copy of the speech I gave at the signing:

It is a great honour for me, the Chancellor and our party to be here today to sign this important MOU with Zhongkai University. The future of the planet and humanity depends on achievements that will be made in agricultural and engineering science and education. Today we come together to play our small part in bringing about these achievements. 

I have watched the relationship forming between our two institutions with great interest. Our two universities have many similarities.  Both of us have a focus on agriculture and engineering. What could be more important than feeding and building the world.

Over the coming decades food security will be a major issue for China, and in fact the whole of the world. Agricultural Scientists in the past have always achieved what seemed like the impossible. Take for example the production of wheat. Since 1945 wheat production in China has gone from 1 to 5 tonnes per hectare. This is due to producing new varieties of wheat and better use of fertiliser. To feed our population in the future similar improvements will have to be made and these improvements will originate in our universities. Let us be clear advances in agriculture have the potential to save more lives than any other discipline including health care. Take for example the work of nobel laureate  Norman Borlaug. It can be argued that this agricultural scientist has had a greater positive impact on humanity than any other human being.  He has become known as "The Man who saved a billion lives".

Central Queensland University is the leading agricultural university in Queensland and is already working with Chinese scientists in areas such as dry land rice production. I am confident that bringing our two universities together will have massive benefits to the communities we serve in the important area of food production.

we do not only have to feed the world but also build the world. As our countries develop we need improved road networks, communication systems, and housing. This improved infrastructure can only be achieved by having top class engineering research and education. Our two universities have a focus on engineering and by coming together there will be a synergistic effect and our combined efforts will be much greater than us working apart. At CQUniversity we are well known in Australia for our railway and power engineering. I look forward to working with Zhongkai University to promote these two areas of academic endeavour. 

This partnership will build on the already strong relationship between Guangdong province and Queensland which is cemented in a cordial sister province/state relationship. So today we begin a relationship which will be of great benefit to our two universities. But to be honest, what is more important is the benefit that this relationship will have on the communities we serve. The relationship will be judged on the improvements that we can make to the sustainability and living standards of our communities and people in both China and Australia. 

I am looking forward to reciprocating your warm hospitality when you visit our campuses in Bundaberg and Rockhampton next month and in particular I am keen to show Vice President Xiang around our facilities. 

I wish this relationship, our two universities, and our two countries great prosperity in the future. Thank you.

A very short stop in Guanzhou - less than 24 hours now off to catch a plane to Chengdu.

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