Graduates Look to China as New Degrees Launched

31 August 2012

"New CSC Executive Director, Professor Kerry Brown says 'knowledge of China's internal and external dynamics is critical across disciplines and in the wider community'."

As the federal government maps its strategic blueprint on the 'Asian Century', the China Studies Centre (CSC) at the University of Sydney will launch two new degrees preparing graduates for a China-focused future.

Amid continued commentary on China's rise as a world superpower, the new Master of China Studies and Master of China Public Administration (MCPA) degrees aim to produce a new generation of leaders equipped with a more holistic comprehension of Australia's most important two-way trading partner.

A deeper engagement with Chinese history, language and culture is the focus of these two-year masters degrees, which are both set to commence in Semester 1, 2013.

The new programs come as the CSC welcomes the arrival of incoming Executive Director, Professor Kerry Brown, one of Europe's leading China experts. He takes up the position after a respected tenure as head of the Asia program at Chatham House, and was previously the leader of the Europe China Research and Advice Network.

Professor Brown believed the new degrees attest to the importance of acquiring a more nuanced comprehension of Sinology, and of China's place in the world.

"In just a few years China has risen to become one of the world's major powers, its second biggest economy and an influence on the global environment, politics and the economy," he said. "This is the reason why knowledge of China's internal and external dynamics is critical across disciplines and in the wider community; China is now a global subject.

"But we need awareness of the historic context of this, and also of the complex impact that China's rapid growth is having on administration, public health, security and culture more generally."

Such sentiments are echoed in recent comments by Ken Henry, a former Treasury secretary and author of the federal government's white paper on the Asian Century, who stressed the need for "Asia relevant capabilities" and better education in Asian culture, history and language, in order to secure Australia's regional prosperity into the future.

As new CSC Executive Director, Brown plans to elevate the burgeoning China Studies discipline while facilitating increased dialogue with think tanks across China and Asia, as the world comprehends the "historic changes" towards a new geopolitical order.

"We feel we are moving into a remarkable period of transition to deeper globalisation, where China stands at the Centre. And we wish to be at the heart of this debate," said Professor Brown.

"I'm excited to be working in an environment where there is a major commitment to understanding and engaging with China across the disciplines more broadly. This is an exciting time to be in Australia and we want to build on the excellent work done across the University to truly make this a world-class Centre where China in its many different facets can talk with the world."

Currently no other Australian university offers a Master of China Studies or Master of China Public Administration degree, with the courses drawing support from the largest pool of academics in the field from across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sydney also has the longest history of China Studies research of any Australian university.

The Master of China Studies degree is intended for students looking to further their knowledge of China who may not have any previous background of study in the area. The broad introductory degree covers China's society, culture and history, while giving students the opportunity to specialise in elective topics including health, business, law, society and politics.

Alternatively, the MCPA aims to assist middle level public administrators and business people from both China and Australia to advance their knowledge of China as they contribute to these models. With a compulsory semester-long internship in China for domestic students (as well as international students who are not China-based), and a work placement in Australia for China-based candidates, students will enhance their core skills with real-world experience of public administration across the two nations.

Academic Director of the CSC, Professor David Goodman, believed the MCPA would place students in a competitive position when seeking positions across a range of China-focused occupations.

"Graduates from the MCPA (Master of China Public Administration) can expect a lifetime career in Australia/China business cooperation of various kinds, as well as understanding public administration and enterprise development in China," he said.

An information session on the two new Master degrees will be held on Thursday 6th September at 1pm, at the Law Annex Seminar Room 346.


What: Postgraduate Courses Launch and Information Session - Master of China Studies and Master of China Public Administration.

When: 1pm to 2.30pm, Thursday 6 September

Where: Room 346, New Law School Annex, The University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Enquiries: Shuxia Chen or 02 9114 1166

Light refreshments will be served.

Contact: Kate Mayor

Phone: 02 9351 2208, 0434 561 056

Email: 330f2132762b541d1a1c2b184c2f5a102a46045c026f160f