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Go8's meet the 'China 9'


8 April 2013

Andrew Clayphan and Erin Smith are part of an Australian universities' delegation headed for China to create stronger academic bonds.
Andrew Clayphan and Erin Smith are part of an Australian universities' delegation headed for China to create stronger academic bonds.

More than 100,000 Chinese students study at Australian universities, but fewer than 3000 Australian students attend universities in China. Sydney PhD candidates Erin Smith and Andrew Clayphan have successfully applied to be part of a federal government program aimed at addressing this disparity and fostering engagement between the University of Sydney and other 'Group of eight' (Go8) universities with their 'China nine' (C9) counterparts.

"The purpose of the program is to develop proposals and ideas for cooperation," says Erin, "but I was also intrigued by the program's intention to encourage future Australia PhD candidates to spend some of their candidature in China."

The 'Student Leadership in International Cooperation' (SLIC) Project provides $100,000 to fund initiatives including this two-week visit for 14 Go8 higher degree research students to C9 universities including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Fudan University, Xi'an Jiaotong University, University of Science and Technology China and Nanjing University. The students will sit in on lectures and meet with academic staff and students at each campus, which Andrew sees as an opportunity to develop his communication and analytical skills, and be an ambassador for the University.

"This experience is a chance to put into practice the graduate attributes the University has continually spoken about, paving the way for our global citizenship and a cross-cultural understanding that is ever more pressing in our inter-connected world" he said. "Upon completion of my studies, I'll want to be in a position where I can communicate my ideas, be it in industry, research, or even consulting. It is programs like these that help shape the person I will be in the future".

Erin and Andrew also see the broader importance of strengthening ties between nations, beyond the academic sphere. "China has an increasingly important role internationally and in the pacific regions" says Erin, "and their increasing growth and demand for resources will shape our future foreign policy," adds Andrew.

Erin and Andrew both saw the application notice for this program in the weekly Student News email, where students can keep up-to-date with the latest career, internship, volunteer and scholarship opportunities.

The SLIC delegation departs on 16 April. Follow the Student Life blog for more on Erin and Andrew's trip to China.


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Enquiries: David Sams, 9351 3703, david.sams@sydney.edu.au