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  • Massey University Delegation Visits the New Zealand Centre at Peking University

    26/09/2017¯Vice-Chancellor of Massey University Professor Jan Thomas visited Peking University with a delegation to explore new ways in which Massey University and Peking University could further strengthen their partnership through academic exchanges and other projects.

    On 26 September 2017, Vice-Chancellor of Massey University Professor Jan Thomas visited Peking University with a delegation in exploring ways in which Massey University and Peking University could further strengthen their partnership and academic exchanges. She was accompanied by fellow Massey colleagues including: Assistant Vice-Chancellor Cathy Magiannis, Head of the School of Humanities Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, Director of International Relations Michael O’Shaughnessy, Dr. Peter Meihana of the School of Humanities, Professor Stephen Marsland,Dr Stephen Lean and Dr Amjed Tahir of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Dr. Liao Jing of the School of Economics and Finance, and Janelle Li from Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology.

    A team of Peking representatives welcomed the Massey delegation and conducted a productive and fruitful meeting. This team included Professor Zhao Yang, Dean of the School of Chinese as a Second Language, Professor Sheng Yu, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Policy Research Institute of the School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, Professors Zhang Lu and Zhou Minghui of the Computer Software Research Institute of the School of Information Science and Technology as well as Professor Liu Shusen, Director of the New Zealand Centre at Peking University and the Centre’s Secretary Associate Professor Liu Hongzhong.

    The delegation accompanied by New Zealand Centre staff.

    Professor Liu Shushen extended a warm welcome to the Massey University delegation and introduced that the leaders of Peking University and the Office of International Relations, who were visiting abroad at that time, have been attaching importance to Peking University’s partnership with Massey, including the three-brother collaboration between Peking University, Massey University and Xinjiang Shihezi University. This tripartite relationship involves projects to support training teachers from Shihezi University as well as projects to promote research in the field of agricultural studies. This is a key project between Peking University and a Western China institution, which has been successfully conducted over many years. This partnership between the three universities is a well-known model, which has earned high praise from the leadership of the Chinese Ministry of Education and other ministries.

    BAs Dean of the School of Chinese as a Second Language, Professor Zhao Yang introduced innovative thoughts of his School in graduate education and curriculum designs, including a number of successful collaborative programmes with such leading international universities as Cambridge University and Oxford University. He also introduced that a Chinese language and culture programme would be organised in cooperation with Massey University in November. Professor Sheng Yu presented the teaching and research achievements of his School in the fields of agricultural sciences and agricultural economics. He also briefed the new campus of the School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences under construction in Weifang, Shandong Province. The Massey delegation introduced that their School of Agriculture Science enjoyed a stellar reputation in scientific research and expressed interest of collaboration in the field. Representatives of both universities agreed to continue strengthening talent cultivation and research in the field of agriculture science. Professor Zhang Lu and Professor Zhou Minghui presented their software engineering research, which chiefly explores how independent scholars develop software as well as how this research relates to fields such as cognitive psychology, economics and the humanities.

    The delegation in consultations with Peking University.

    As Vice-Chancellor of Massey University since January this year, Professor Jan Thomas led this delegation as her first official visit to China, and Peking University is the first stop on her trip. She expressed gratitude towards Peking University for its warm welcome and spoke highly of the importance of the partnership between the two universities. She acknowledged that Peking University and the New Zealand Centre for creating opportunities for scholars in similar fields to work together. Members of the Massey delegation also shared the various courses and activities provided by Massey to strengthen international students’understanding of New Zealand history and culture. The Massey delegation further expressed their desire to carry out additional exchanges with Peking University in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Prior to the plenary meeting, Professor Jan Thomas met with Liu Shusen and Liu Hongzhong of the New Zealand Centre, who briefly discussed the development of the New Zealand Centre since its founding in 2007. This is the tenth year of the Centre enjoying remarkable achievements in teaching, research and exchange services. Every Fall semester an undergraduate course called“New Zealand History and Culture”open to PKU undergraduates is offered by the New Zealand Centre. This course has provided a strong foundation for the cultivation of students as young scholars in New Zealand studies in future. This course is currently the only one of its kind offered to undergraduate students in Chinese universities. The work of the New Zealand Centre has been supported by all eight New Zealand universities, including Massey, and it is hoped that the two universities will be able to provide more student and scholar exchange programmes in the near future. Associate Professor Liu Hongzhong discussed the annual winter exchange programmes between Peking University and several New Zealand universities, which have been successfully going on for a decade now. Massey University looks forward to an opportunity of hosting such a study abroad programme in 2019, as a way of further strengthening the partnership between the two universities. Both sides also discussed the new possibilities of joint research in the field of South Pacific Island counties studies, with higher education research a priority.

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