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Australian university secures key China partnership

SYDNEY, May 8 -- Australia's top "China Ready" university, UNSW (University of New South Wales), has signed the latest of a series of strategic partnerships with the NAEA (China' s National Academy of Education Administration), cementing the Sydney-based University as China's premier higher-learning partner from Down Under.

Speaking ahead of the signing ceremony on Tuesday, UNSW's Vice- President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin told Xinhua that the new partnership was an important mechanism for both sides to learn from best practice.

"If we were signing this agreement ten years ago, it would have been more about utilizing UNSW experience to assist China build world class universities with China's remarkable investment in higher education today and China home to a growing number of top ranked universities we have just as much to learn from our Chinese friends," Professor Martin said.

"This is a mutually beneficial partnership that will see presidents, vice-presidents and senior managers from Chinese universities learn from UNSW's best practice in academic governance, quality assurance, management and the student experience," he said.

UNSW will host the first cohort of the NAEA program next month and will welcome twenty-five presidents, vice-presidents and senior managers from central and southwestern Chinese universities.

"Next month's delegation is all about UNSW's commitment to the Chinese government's policy to develop the Chinese provincial hinterland and we see immense potential for growth in these parts of China," Professor Martin said.

China is UNSW's largest source of international students, with 5,748 Chinese students accounting for approximately 10 percent of the entire UNSW student population.

"Given that China is investing 250 billion Australian dollars a year in its universities, UNSW sees future centers of excellence very much outside the eastern seaboard and it's important for us to invest in these relationships now," the professor said.

The NAEA sits directly under the Chinese Ministry of Education responsible for development and delivery of national educational leadership and management training programs in the education sector. It also conducts educational research and provides strategic policy advice to the government on the issues of educational administration.

According to Martin, UNSW enjoys close working relationships with the Chinese government. It has carved out key corporate relationships across China, enjoying research collaborations spanning major state-owned enterprises such as Sinopec, Baosteel and China State Grid as well as leading privately-owned enterprises including Huawei and Suntech.

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