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University of Sydney welcomes Shanghai delegation


11 June 2014

In a sign of strengthening ties between Sydney and Shanghai, the Party Secretary of Shanghai Mr Han Zheng met with the University of Sydney's Chancellor, Belinda Hutchinson and Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence on 4 June.

Mr Han Zheng led a delegation from Shanghai that included the Vice-President of Fudan University, Professor Feng Xiaoyuan. Mr Han was previously mayor of Shanghai between 2003 and 2012, helping to drive the rapid development of the city and the successful staging of the World Expo in 2010.

During the meeting Mr Han spoke about the important partnership between Fudan University and the University of Sydney which led to the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in New South Wales in 2006.

"The Confucius Institute has allowed more people in Sydney to learn about the Chinese culture and language. Learning the language is key to understanding and appreciating Chinese culture because it allows you to directly interact with its people," Mr Han said.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence spoke about the strong research collaboration the University has with universities in Shanghai.

"The University of Sydney has the highest concentration of Chinese expertise in the world outside of China. There are more than 160 academics conducting research in a wide range of areas, from China's public health system to its economy and cultural history," Dr Spence said.

The joint biomedical engineering alliance with Shanghai Jiaotong announced in April, is just one example of the valuable research partnerships between the University of Sydney and the city of Shanghai.

The University of Sydney and Shanghai Jiaotong universities have agreed to invest $1 million over five years to support joint research projects, information exchange and academic visits.

Michael Soud, a student with the Confucius Institute and studying a Bachelor of Law / International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney, also spoke to the delegation in Chinese.

"I first became interested in the Chinese language when I studied it in Beijing last year. I came to love the language because it is filled with such wonderful idioms," Mr Soud said.

Mr Soud was awarded a scholarship by the Shanghai Municipal Council to study Chinese in Shanghai. He will be undertaking a four-week intensive language course in Shanghai in July, along with four other students from the Confucius Institute.

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Media enquiries: Sally Sitou, 93518647, 0481012597, sally.sitou@sydney.edu.au