The Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Mr Andrew Robb, MP and the Victorian Premier, the Hon. Dr Denis Napthine, joined Monash University President Professor Ed Byrne and Professor Yi Hong, President of China’s Southeast University to officially open the building that is home to the new Joint Graduate School in Suzhou near Shanghai.
Monash is the first Australian university to be granted a licence to operate in China and the first foreign university granted a licence for the establishment of a graduate school in China.
The Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School (Suzhou) was established in 2012 and the first students will graduate early next year with Masters degrees from both parent institutions.
The School has already enrolled more than 200 students and will progressively build to a capacity of around 1400 students. It is accepting applications for Masters courses in Information Technology Systems, Industrial Design, Transportation Systems, Applied Linguistics, and International Business in 2014.
The 60,000-square-metre building that houses the School has cutting-edge facilities to support education and future research activities in a range of disciplines from economics to engineering.
The School will be complemented by the establishment of a Joint Research Institute to conduct multi-disciplinary research projects in areas of strategic importance to industry in Australia and China, including nanotechnology, bioinformatics, water, energy and light metals.
Both universities have world-recognised strengths in engineering, health and science.
Professor Byrne said that by combining these strengths, the Joint Research Institute would conduct research with a demonstrable, beneficial impact across the region.
“Monash University’s success in becoming the first international university to be granted a licence for an exclusively postgraduate campus is largely a result of the University’s reputation for being young, innovative and internationally focused,” Professor Byrne said.
Monash Academic Vice-President (China and India) Professor Tam Sridhar said the benefits of collaborating would flow beyond the two universities.
“At a time when China is becoming ever-more important to Australia’s economic future, the Monash collaboration with SEU builds our links in research and technology, providing a valuable resource for Australian enterprises,” Professor Sridhar said.
Professor Byrne thanked Mr Robb and Dr Napthine for participating in today’s opening and for recognising the importance of this unique partnership between two world-class education institutions.