University of Melbourne reconnects and strengthens relationships in China

University of Melbourne delegates with alumni
University of Melbourne delegates with alumni and Australian Consul-General, Shanghai, Mr Dominic Trindade, at the Shanghai Alumni Reception.

The first University of Melbourne delegation to China post-pandemic has reconnected with alumni and institutional partners across Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell led the delegation, which included University representatives from almost every Faculty, providing an opportunity to build and strengthen connections with institutional partners and alumni.

Key outcomes included:

  • Partnership renewal with the China Scholarship Council to fund PhD candidates until 2027 for a combined investment of up to AUD$75 million.
  • Renewal of the University-wide Memorandum of Understanding with Fudan University for academic collaboration and a Student Exchange Agreement for reciprocal overseas study programs.
  • Warm receptions from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education, where Vice Minister Zhang and Vice Minister Weng discussed the University’s successful cooperation and research and education partnerships with Chinese institutions.
  • Visits to key University partners at Peking University, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Nanjing University.
  • Alumni events with capacity crowds.

Professor Maskell acknowledged the warm welcome that the University of Melbourne received after many delays due to border closures, and the success of the delegation in strengthening relationships through knowledge sharing, international education and research collaboration.

“For more than a century, the University has been connecting with students and academics in China and we truly value these longstanding and mutually beneficial collaborations,” Professor Maskell said.

“These international relationships increase the quality, output and impact of our teaching programs and our research, to find solutions to the shared problems of our region, and beyond.”

Professor Maskell highlighted student exchange programs as crucial for creating international education experiences, with more than 560 students from the University of Melbourne undertaking an exchange opportunity in China.

“We see our role in society extending beyond academic excellence and I firmly believe in the power of these partnerships to foster knowledge exchange and broad cultural understanding.”

Alumni connections

Two highly anticipated alumni events were hosted by the Vice-Chancellor in Beijing and Shanghai, with more than 900 people in attendance across the two cities. Further alumni events were hosted in Nanjing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The events were an opportunity for senior representatives from the University to reconnect with China-based alumni after an extended absence due to border closures, and a chance for the community to re-engage with former classmates and expand their networks.

“We are proud of our talented global alumni and the contributions they make to society, and we are most grateful for their support and ongoing engagement with our wider University community,” Professor Maskell said.

“It was energising to meet with many bright minds and hear how their connections forged at the University of Melbourne continue well beyond their years of study.’’

The University of Melbourne has a growing global network of half a million alumni, with 16,482 currently residing in China.