Several new initiatives were agreed upon at the successful meeting between the Group of Eight Vice-Chancellors and delegation of Presidents and Vice-Presidents from the China 9 research-intensive universities in Sydney on 2 August. The meeting reviewed the 5 year relationship and the several programs underway, and looked to strengthen the partnership in the years ahead.
The Groups agreed to develop a system of mutual credit recognition between the institutions, initially for degree programs in the basic sciences. For example, a unit in mathematics completed at any of the C9 universities will be recognised at all of the Go8 universities, and similarly units completed at any Go8 university will be recognised at all of the C9 universities. “This is an exciting development which will allow students at the Go8 and C9 institutions to complete some of their study at leading universities overseas. It will help develop their global outlook and cultural appreciation”, said Mr Michael Gallagher, Go8 Executive Director.
The Groups are also looking to develop a global leadership program of Go8-C9 summer schools aimed at building future leaders for the corporate and government sectors.
“The summer schools aim to provide undergraduate students with core business skills and an appreciation of issues in a global context to enable them to work anywhere in the world”, said Mr Gallagher.
Topics of the summer schools could include ‘effective communication in the modern world’, ‘managing global risks’, ‘appreciation of cultural diversity’, ‘ethical norms and legal rules in business, research, academia and government’ and ‘leadership and entrepreneurship’.
Annual meetings of the Go8 Vice-Chancellors and C9 Presidents will focus on a chosen theme where there is value in the two groups sharing their experiences in leading and managing universities. The theme of the 2013 meeting is ‘Interactive teaching and learning in courses of large student enrolments’.
A program will be developed to facilitate the exchange of teaching staff between the Go8 and C9 institutions. “Lecturers in physics at a C9 university, for example, may be able to describe complex concepts in Mandarin but may struggle to communicate these concepts in English.
“The program will provide these teaching staff with an opportunity to teach in their field in English at a Go8 institution, not only improving their English language skills but also providing students at Go8 universities with valuable insights in their field of study from a different cultural perspective.”, said Mr Gallagher.
The exchange will also offer teaching staff from Go8 universities the opportunity to teach their field in English at a C9 university.
Current programs such as the Go8-C9 Research Leadership Executive Shadowing program and the C9-Go8 HDR Forum will be expanded. The shadowing program will extend beyond the executive level to include other levels of professional staff and the HDR Forum will be tested in other regions such as Africa and South America with a view to build networks of young talent around the world.
These initiatives will be further discussed at the C9 Presidents’ meeting at Zhejiang University in October 2012.