China celebrations with prized partner

[Article by Megan Andrews, Flinders University media team]

Professor Stirling presents Flinders University’s gift to Professor Xuetao, from left to right: Chancellor Stephen Gerlach, Professor Colin Stirling, Professor Cao Xuetao and Sebastian Raneskold

Flinders University leaders joined friends at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, to celebrate its 100th anniversary on 17 October 2019.

One of China’s most highly regarded universities, Nankai University is a key Flinders’ partner and has collaborated with the University for almost two decades to deliver postgraduate programs in Tianjin.

Over this time, the Flinders /Nankai Master of Arts in International Relations – Economy and Trade, Masters in Hospital Administration, and Master of Educational Leadership and Management have produced a combined total of some 6,000 graduates.

This year, the partnership expanded to research, with Flinders and Nankai together leading the Australia-China Centre for Personal Health Technologies to deliver real-time health solutions, winning funding from both Australian and Chinese governments.

Chancellor Stephen Gerlach, Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and Vice President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Sebastian Raneskold were invited to attend Nankai’s key anniversary celebration event, which was the highlight of a year of special events and activities leading up to the university’s centenary.

They met with President of Nankai University Professor CAO Xuetao, who thanked Flinders for its contribution to Nankai’s international achievements, especially through the delivery of the joint Master programs.

Professor Cao confirmed Nankai’s commitment in further internationalisation and said he looked forward to deepening collaborations between the two universities.

Professor Stirling welcomed the opportunity to strengthen the relationship, building on existing teaching and research partnerships, and also congratulated Professor Cao on Nankai’s great achievement in the past 100 years.

He presented a gift on behalf of Flinders University, a specially commissioned plaque with an image of Nankai’s most famous alumni and China’s first Premier, the late Premier Zhou Enlai.

Professor Cao presented a thank you gift to Flinders, a Chinese painting by famed artist and Nankai Alumni Mr Fan Zeng.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Professor Stirling took part in the World University Presidents Forum attended by more than 40 of Nankai’s international partners, and chaired a panel on improving capability to build a world-class university. Chancellor Gerlach hosted a special anniversary dinner.

Nankai University is one of China’s elite ‘Double First Class Universities’ targeted by the Chinese Ministry of Education for development into world-class universities. Nankai is ranked 368 in the QS world university rankings. Its centenary celebrations attracted around 4,600 participants.

Commemorative activities over the year included a dragon boat competition for leading global universities and a special issue collection of commemorative stamps and coins.

The Nankai University official celebration event involved approximately 4,600 people
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