Australia’s leading international student news website

Monash Uni first to break into China’s higher-ed market

Claire Cai

Wed May 02 2012

monash university

MONASH University has trumped its competition to become the first Australian institution to enter the higher education market in China. Claire Cai reports.

Monash University will be the first Australian institution to break into China's higher-ed market. Pictured, Monash University Caulfield. Photo: Sarah Lim

Monash University has become the first Australian university to receive a license to operate in China and it’s set to open its graduate school doors to students in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province later this year.

Monash University says it has defeated competitors from the US and as it will now be able to establish a foothold in the education sector of the world’s second biggest economy, offering a range of postgraduate degrees for more than 1,400 students by 2017 under a partnership with China’s Southeast University.

Southeast University is among the 39 top universities in the “985 Project” which have priority in receiving funds from the government.

Following a recent endorsement by China’s Ministry of Education, the Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School (Suzhou) will take on its first students later this year.

It will accept 350 masters students and 150 doctoral candidates each year.

The Graduate School will offer postgraduate courses in nanotechnology, biomedicine, environmental science, transportation, industrial design, economics, software, thermal and mechanical engineering, among other disciplines.

Students will graduate with degrees from both Southeast University and Monash.

The Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School (Suzhou) will take on its first students later this year. Pictured, the west bank of Jin Ji Lake in Suzhou Industrial Park where the graduate school is located. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Ed Byrne, told The Conversation the partnership would allow the university to “prepare students to be international citizens, equipped to meet the rigours of a workforce in transition.”

“China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an impressive record of innovation. Chinese government has invested a large amount of money in high-quality research these years,” he said.

“As part of a Chinese university, we can also gain support from them.

“This makes it an ideal location for a progressive university such as Monash.”

In the past 10 years, China has increased expenditure on research and development (R&D) by 20 pre cent. By 2020, R&D will make up 2.5 per cent of China’s GDP . While that data in Australia is comparatively smaller at 2.2 per cent.

“The fund in Australia is less and less while it is rising for times in China,” Prof Byrne said.

“China is still cautious. They want to know whether this cooperation with Monash can succeed or not. If we succeed, we’ll open the door of opportunities for other Australian institutions,” he said.