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Posted: 13 Sep 2012

Chinese Government gives approval to UCD’s International College in Beijing

President Hugh Brady announces details of Beijing-Dublin International College at EAIE

The Chinese Ministry for Education has given its approval to the joint venture between University College Dublin (UCD) and Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) to establish the Beijing-Dublin International College in the Chinese capital this September.

The approval is the final step required for official recognition of degrees in China and means graduates will be awarded both UCD and Chinese qualifications.

UCD first proposed the joint venture following the twinning of Dublin and Beijing in July 2011. The plan to establish an International College in China received enthusiastic support from the highly influential Mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong, and was further endorsed by Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn when the two men met during the Mayor’s subsequent visit to Dublin.

The signing of the contract by Dr Hugh Brady, President of UCD and Professor Guo Guangsheng, President of BJUT, was witnessed by Vice-President Xi Jinping and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny during the Vice-President’s recent visit to Ireland.

Initial degree programmes will include software engineering and a programme based on electronic engineering, internet-enabled sensor and communications technologies, known in China as ‘The Internet of Things’. 

“We expect to grow to about 3,000 students and intend to offer further programmes in science, engineering, management, business and the humanities.” UCD professor, Alan Keenan, who heads up the project, said from Beijing today.

The Beijing Dublin International College will also serve as a study abroad location for UCD students seeking to expand their knowledge of the Chinese language, culture and economy and will provide supports for academics, businesses and other organisations interested in educational, research and trade links with China.

“An undoubted contributor to the rapid approval of the Beijing-Dublin International College was UCD’s strong track record in internationalisation.” Dr Brady said. 

In Ireland, 20% (5,000) of the UCD student population is international and drawn from over 100 countries.  UCD accounts for approximately 30% of all full degree international students in higher education in Ireland.

In addition, over 1,000 UCD students study or volunteer abroad annually. UCD’s new Global Lounge on the Belfield campus, funded in part by Irish philanthropist Peter Gleeson, has received significant interest among the international education community as a model facility for support of both incoming international and outgoing Irish students.

UCD already has a presence in a number of countries and over 4,000 students are taking UCD degrees in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka.  UCD and RCSI have run a successful medical school, Penang Medical College, in Malaysia for over a decade and UCD is currently assisting Shenzhen University in China with the development of its new medical school.

This year UCD President Dr Hugh Brady was appointed Chairman of the prestigious Universitas 21 network of global research universities whose core mission is the internationalisation of the student experience through student mobility opportunities, web-based global learning communities and reform of curriculum content to prepare students for life and work across boundaries, borders and cultures.

Speaking today to over 4,000 delegates at the annual conference of the European Association of International Education (EAIE) in Dublin, Dr Brady stressed the need for Irish higher education institutions to develop international partnerships of scale and cautioned against the imposition of narrow and restrictive policies and practices that could limit the flexibility and freedom to act of Irish institutions in the international arena.

“If our institutions and our nation are to thrive in an increasingly competitive and globalised society, it is essential that our students graduate with a truly global outlook and ambition, that our research programmes are plugged into the best brains and technology platforms on the planet and that our higher education institutions are highly networked to top quality international partners.

There is a very real danger that the current national discourse on the Irish higher education landscape, while timely and potentially constructive, could focus disproportionately on the local rather than the global  and in so doing condemn our institutions to mediocrity.  It is essential for a small open economy such as Ireland that its universities are at the vanguard of internationalisation in higher education and are supported fully by government in this endeavour.”

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Chinese Government gives approval to UCD’s International College in Beijing