Wednesday, 04 April 2012
ECU has hosted a Seminar of leaders from 11 Chinese universities and institutions on the subject of internationalisation of education.
ECU President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerry O. Cox chaired the event in Shenzhen, China, on 30 March 2012.
It was the final leg of Professor Cox’s visit to the country to strengthen links between ECU and partner institutions.
The event, ECU Seminar on Internationalisation of Education, was attended by Presidents and leaders – from across five provinces – who hold significant roles in the internationalisation of their institutions.
Professor Cox presented the keynote address and highlighted a new emphasis in international education.
“Whilst academic rigour at exacting international standards remains essential, of increasing significance will be a curriculum and teaching approach that recognises historical and cultural differences in transnational education,” Professor Cox said.
Three main questions were raised at the event. First, what is the purpose of higher education? For example, is it predominantly only to cultivate scholars in ivory towers, or is it to develop students with sound theory and ability to apply knowledge that leads to the graduation of value-adding citizens of the world?
Secondly, how should programs be delivered? For example, essentially face-to-face, (ii) bilingual delivery, (iii) online delivery or (iv) through industry placements. Should case studies be relevant to the nationality of the students?
Thirdly, should academic content be restricted to disciplinary knowledge and skills?
“A strong consensus emerged concerning the importance of graduates to be able to apply their knowledge and to do so confidently and competently in different cultural contexts,” Professor Cox said.
“Thus, creation and delivery of the curriculum should involve a variety of approaches and include the discipline content and cross-cultural awareness.
“The value of staff and student exchanges, in both directions, was also emphasised as facilitating internationalisation.
“It was also seen that the journey is one of 10,000 miles and that the Seminar was no more than several important steps in the right direction.”
Four memoranda were also signed during the event, which will establish the framework for further collaboration between ECU and Fujian University of Technology, Jingganshan University, Jilin Animation Institute and Weinan Normal University.