Acting Dean travels to China in pusuit of faculty goals

25 December 2009

The Faculty of Arts Acting Dean, Associate Professor Anne Dunn travelled to China in November to attend a number of meetings and events in pursuit of faculty specific goals.

Associate Professor Dunn was joined by Heads of School, Professor Jeff Riegel (SLC), Professor Simon Tormey (SSPS), Professor Duncan Ivison (SOPHI), the Director, Institute of Social Sciences, Professor David Goodman, and incoming Professor of Politics, Professor John Keane who is currently the Professor of Politics, Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. The group first met with Professor Wang Jisi, Dean, School of International Studies at Peking University and some of his colleagues to discuss the possibility of a student exchange agreement and arrangements for postgraduate research seminars and collaborations.

Associate Professor Dunn met with Professor Anbin Shi, Assistant Dean, School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University later that afternoon to discuss the possibility of creating a combined Master degree in Global Business Journalism with either Media Practice or Strategic Public Relations. It was agreed that the idea of the combined degree be pursued and the existing University-wide student exchange agreement would be activated.

Also at Tsinghua University, Professor Ivison, Professor Tormey and Professor Keane were involved in a very successful symposium on political philosophy, attended by staff and students of the Tsinghua University School of Public Policy and Management, organised by Assistant Professor Zhang Yanbing.

On the morning of the symposium, Associate Professor Dunn met with the Li Wensha, Editor in Chief, 21st Century newspaper (published by China Daily) to discuss the existing agreement between the Faculty of Arts and China Daily - a three month internship working as a sub-editor for China Daily. In exchange, the Faculty of Arts offers an annual scholarship for the Master of Media Practice to mid career journalists from China.

Associate Professor Dunn attended a symposium at the Beijing Hotel entitled 'Creating Australian Studies in China', one of a number of events hosted by the International Office to acknowledge the University's longstanding relationship with China. This symposium movingly reunited the surviving seven of the first Chinese students (known as "the Gang of Nine") to graduate from an Australian University with their Professor, Dame Leonie Kramer. Their affection and respect for Dame Leonie was evident and their accomplishments impressive, including the founding of the Australian Studies Centre at Peking University.

Associate Professor Dunn and Professor Ivison attended an Agents' Workshop on the Saturday morning and gave a presentation about the Faculty of Arts and its programs and about the value of an Arts degree to employers. Later that evening, they attended a graduation ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Beijing Hotel with 300 students from across all faculties including almost 50 graduates from Arts. Throughout the evening, the Acting Dean had a chance to meet some of the graduates and commented on how impressive it was to hear from the students how valuable a postgraduate coursework degree is to their employment prospects.

Associate Professor Dunn commented, 'the success of the trip to China shows the importance of the faculty taking initiatives on its own behalf and enables us to identify partners that we want to collaborate with in research and teaching'.