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Horse racing poised to return to China

Monday 15 November 2010

Leof Jeffcott at the 2008 Olympics

Sixty years after being banned by the Communist government as a colonial pursuit, horse racing is poised to make a comeback in China. University of Sydney veterinary scientist Leo Jeffcott, who was part of a recent Australian delegation to the Shanghai Expo, says the return of Thoroughbred racing to China now looks inevitable.

But Professor Jeffcott said he was keen to ensure that the return of racing would be matched by the development of veterinary and welfare plans for horses, and that the University of Sydney could assist in the process.

Professor Jeffcott – a former dean of veterinary science and the official veterinarian for horse events at the last six Olympics, including the 2008 Games – met leading figures from China during his visit with the Australian Equine Mission. They included Professor Han Guocal, deputy chairman of the China Horse Industry Association.

Speaking at a networking dinner, Professor Jeffcott noted that China was also hosting the 2010 Asian Games and said there was a great opportunity to establish it as a future leader in equestrian sport.

The Australian delegates later visited the Nine Dragons Polo Club about 120 km south of Shanghai for further discussions on the promotion of polo and the initiation of Thoroughbred racing in China.

After a false start in the 1990s, racing was legalised in China in 2008 when Wuhan was granted a licence to stage races. A track is being developed with Australian help at Chengdu in Sichuan Province, and a huge $5bn racing complex is being built at the port city of Tianjin.

Professor Jeffcott said he was keen to see the development of veterinary, health and welfare plans to go alongside the other initiatives in the Chinese horse industry. "Extremely large sums of money appear to be being spent, or speculated, to import horses from abroad, and build racecourses, equitation centres and polo grounds," he said.

"But it is crucial that the health and welfare of the horses, including proper veterinary and farriery care and feeding, are considered in tandem with the commercial side.

"This is, of course, an area that the University and Faculty of Veterinary Science could greatly assist."

Professor Jeffcott said he was hopeful that the visit would provide a platform for further advances and collaboration in the future. "A visit of potential Chinese horse buyers is already being planned for April 2011, which is likely to involve aspects of veterinary education and research with the University of Sydney," he said.

Heritage experts meet in Shanghai

Tuesday 2 November 2010

The Australian Pavilion played host to a Commonwealth Roundtable on 14 October when government and university leaders from Australia and China came together to share their knowledge about World Heritage-listed sites in the Asia-Pacific region, and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Three key areas of focus included sites in Australia that have recently gained World Heritage listing, including some convict prison sites; in China, the Xi'an Terracotta Army site; and in Cambodia, Greater Angkor.

The roundtable was moderated by Professor Jeffrey Riegel, Head of the School of Languages and Culture at the University of Sydney. Professor Riegel noted that understanding the significance of these sites and addressing the problems of their conservation are issues of common concern to scholars in Australia, Southeast Asia, China, and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific.

Dr Olwen Beazley, Senior Heritage Officer with the NSW Heritage Branch at the Department of Planning, presented an overview of 11 Australian sites as case studies for research as places of historical significance. He talked about the need to conserve and protect the sites, while at the same time making them accessible to tourists.

Professor Roland Fletcher, of Sydney University’s Department of Archaeology, discussed the Greater Angkor Project, a collaboration between UNESCO, the Cambodian government and the University of Sydney and funded in part by the Australian Research Council. The project focuses on the Khmer imperial capital at Angkor, raising issues about the sustainability of large tropical cities, and how best to conserve and protect architectural and cultural remains.

Mr Xia Yin, from the Terracotta Army Museum in Shaanxi Province, and Professor Duan Qingbo from the Department of Archaeology at Xi'an Northwest University, presented their work on the Terracotta Army site which highlights how the ongoing material analysis of the figures and the pigments used on them, as well as the conservation efforts, presents parallels with the work being done on the Angkor ceramics.

Further discussion moderated by Professor Richard Mackay, AM, a partner at Godden Mackay Logan Heritage Consultants, highlighted the important contributions that Australia continues to make to cultural heritage in the region. "Australia has been at the forefront of conservation practice for some time and it is wonderful to learn about projects where Australia has collaborated with our Asia-Pacific neighbours to achieve good heritage outcomes," he said.

The event provided the opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue about the different approaches countries have adopted in conserving heritage sites. Ideas were exchanged about research methodologies and the potential for collaboration in the future.

Chinese participants included Mr Tao Yuebiao, Deputy Director of the Zhejiang Province Bureau of Cultural Relics; Professor Lu Jiansong of the Fudan University Department of Cultural Heritage and Museology; and Dr Wu Zhenyu of the Suzhou Conservation and Monitoring Centre for the Classical Gardens of World Cultural Heritage.

Ms Leilani Bin-Juda, manager of the Australian Pavilion’s cultural program and Indigenous heritage specialist, also participated in the roundtable which formed part of a series of events undertaken by the Pavilion's business program, bringing together experts from universities, governments and industry to discuss key challenges facing Australia and China across a range of sectors.

The roundtables are being coordinated by the University of Sydney on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as part of the University's gold sponsorship of the Australian Pavilion at the Expo.

Back to the future for university reform

Saturday 23 October 2010

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence has spoken of the enduring relevance of the medieval university tradition in a speech about higher education reform in Australia and China.

Dr Spence was a keynote speaker at a University of Sydney Frontiers of Knowledge symposium in the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, where the University is a gold sponsor.

A Chinese perspective on university reform was supplied by Dr Zhang Minxuan, Deputy Director-General of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, who was joined at the symposium by representatives from Fudan University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

The symposium was the last in the series of academic meetings hosted by the University at the Expo, which comes to an end next weekend.

Dr Spence said:

"I spent twenty years of my life at the University of Oxford where disputes rage about the history of the University and, in particular, about which University college was founded first. I know that there are similar disputes in China, about the various Chinese schools of higher learning founded in antiquity, and the extent to which they may or may not properly be called ‘universities’. University history is contentious stuff.

But, sometimes history does have things to teach us about the present and, at the risk of courting controversy, I want to suggest that there are four aspects of the medieval European university tradition that we need to recover. We must, as we say in English, go ‘back to the future’, and recover from the roots of the modern international university tradition, these four essential elements of a university’s work. Only if we do, will the university remain a vital and important social institution in the twenty-first century. Any university reform must keep these four things in its sights.

First, the medieval university offered a broad education. These were not primarily training institutions: they were places of education for citizens and leaders. Thus the first six years of the Bachelor of Arts was spent mastering the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music theory, grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In both our general and our professional education, whether we are training teachers and civil servants, or doctors and lawyers, we must remember the importance of a basic education. We need citizens who are trained to think critically, and to express themselves both orally and in writing in ways that are measured, clear and effective. As the needs of society change very quickly, we need students prepared for three or four careers; careers which will require a developing set of technical skills, but which will all require the same basic skills of critical analysis and effective communication. The pace of change means that the education we offer must prepare students not only for their first job, but for the jobs that they will undertake that have not even yet been imagined.

At the University of Sydney we are about to undertake a reform of our major undergraduate generalist degrees and, in particular, to think about the ways in which they offer a broad and yet rigorous education. We will pay particular attention to the first year of study, to the transition to university for students who have often had varying degrees of preparation for university work, in order to ensure that basic skills in reasoning and in communication are firmly in place and all students are appropriately challenged. Balancing the needs for both general education and professional training is not always easy, but it is the only way to ensure that the education we offer our students is, and will continue to be, relevant to the needs of a changing society.

Second, the medieval university was a place of relatively free enquiry. While it is true that the work of medieval scholars was subject to religious scrutiny, the university usually operated as a relatively independent and self-governing body, and the roots of the concept of academic freedom were laid. This is essential for the flourishing a research university in the twenty-first century. Of course, academic freedom is not mere licence, and must be exercised responsibly, but our core commitment must be to an academic community in which innovation is a primary goal, in which scholars are free to challenge accepted ideas, and in which a high premium is put on original research that advances, and does not merely repeat, our current understandings.

This commitment to freedom of enquiry has important consequences for the reform of universities. In particular, it means that it is the scholarly community that should ultimately determine those fields in which the University will advance its research and to which resources will be allocated. Of course, University leaders must facilitate and shape the conversation about university priorities, but it is ultimately the scholarly community that knows where the most interesting new ideas are emerging, and that should be given freedom to determine a university’s priorities. In doing so, the needs of the community that the university serves must be given great importance, but so too must the curiosity of the research community in its quest for new understandings.

At the University of Sydney we have reformed our arrangements for university governance to ensure that it is the academic community that sets our priorities and shapes our future direction. In particular, important University decisions are taken at a fortnightly meeting of myself, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors and the Deans of the Faculties to ensure that our planning and strategy takes account of the latest developments in, and aspirations of, the different academic communities that together make up the University. This type of joint planning is inevitably more time-consuming than some other forms of university governance, but we believe that it is not only more likely to increase coordination between all parts of the University, but also to ensure that our decision-making is informed by the latest developments in individual disciplines."

Teacher and Social Worker needs in Australia and China

Friday 22 October 2010

Academics from the University of Sydney joined their counterparts from leading Chinese universities during the Shanghai Expo event today for a symposium looking at the future needs of teachers and social workers in both countries. The event entitled, “What is and what could be? Meeting the needs of teachers and social workers in Australia and China” was held at the Intercontinental Shanghai Expo Hotel in conjunction with the University’s Shanghai Expo event program.

Professor Rob Tierney, Dean of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work

Professor John Hearn, Vice President International at the University of Sydney, opened the proceedings, and congratulated the Faculty of Education and Social Work on bringing together this symposium to Shanghai. He referred to the new education initiatives in China prompted by the recently-published Medium and Long Term Education Reform Plan, Education 2020, issued by the Chinese central government.

In welcoming the symposium participants, Professor Rob Tierney, Dean of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work, expressed his heartfelt thanks to all Chinese partners attending, emphasizing the symposium would be the platform for shared goals and interests into the future. Based on strong, existing relationships and collaborations with many Chinese partners, Professor Tierney raised the prospect of a new era of international cooperation that went beyond the concept of partnership. “Think about a network where we can connect with each other and support each other in a fashion not unlike the way the internet works.”

In a series of presentations at the Symposium, the Chinese representatives, including the China Scholarship Council, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Fudan University, Southwest University and Northeast Normal University shared their own respective thoughts on future collaborations. It was acknowledged amongst all participants that globalization is creating changes for Australia and China, and our countries face similar issues involving expansion, quality, diversity, internationalisation and the provision of education and social work services in rural areas. All participants realize the importance of the notion of “network”, and even “network of networks”: within the networks that exist and that will be built, we should work collectively to create better understandings of education and social work, faced by both countries and the world.

The new network of partners can provide a supportive environment in which to move forward. One partner conceptualized cooperation as “the I and the you working together”. Professor Tierney is excited about “a network where we all have a voice and the possibility of exchange, and the possibility of being with each other instantly and conveniently in terms of where we are in time and place.”

The Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney will build these new partnerships upon the strong foundation already existing in the China Education Centre, and its long history in the University since 1972. The Faculty of Education and Social Work announced it will host an important milestone Conference to be held in late 2011 in collaboration with several co-sponsors from China.

Defining shared agendas in Education and Social Work

Monday 18 October 2010

Symposium held by University of Sydney's Faculty of Education and Social Work considers key issues

A rich history of collaboration and exchange exists between the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney Australia and the Chinese scholarly community. For over 30 years, the Faculty of Education and Social Work has forged strong connections with Chinese students, academics and professionals, actively promoting the intercultural exchange of ideas. Committed to strengthening this exchange, the Faculty of Education and Social Work will hold a symposium at the Shanghai Expo with the title ‘What is and what could be, meeting the needs of teachers and social workers in Australia and China.’ With both the Chinese and Australian governments currently involved in far-reaching reforms of their respective educational systems, the symposium will provide a timely opportunity for participants to consider the most urgent issues facing teachers, social workers and their educators.

The symposium will see five academics from the Faculty of Education and Social Work participating in a range of panel discussions. Professor Rob Tierney, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work, will give the keynote speech at the symposium. Professor Tierney says “China and Australia face a range of shared issues in relation to teaching and social work. Now more than ever, we see the benefit in heightened collaboration.” He adds “the symposium will provide an excellent opportunity to determine which issues will benefit most from further Chinese-Australian collaboration.”

Professor Tierney points out that the University of Sydney is exceptionally well-placed to undertake further collaboration. The Faculty of Education and Social Work’s relationship with China is long and deep. The Faculty established its China Education Centre in the early 1970s, with the aim of yielding meaningful cross-cultural collaboration. It’s clear that the Faculty has achieved its aims.

One the best examples of this, according to Professor Tierney, is the collaborative work done by the Faculty with some of China’s leading educational institutes. Partnering with Beijing Normal University, among others, the Faculty has developed joint initiatives that have now been implemented in a large number of Chinese provinces. Professor Tierney says “these initiatives address key issues relating to teaching and learning, multicultural education, language education and social work. They’re the result of sustained, sincere dialogue about shared pedagogical and practical issues. They’re the fruit of three decades of exchange, and we know that their benefits are being felt in communities from Beijing to Inner Mongolia.”

He adds “the Faculty’s close ties with China are also reflected in the calibre of the Chinese participants at the symposium. It’s another measure of the unique relationship between the Faculty, Chinese teachers, social workers and their educators.”

In addition to Professor Tierney, the following Australian panellists from the Faculty of Education and Social Work will participate in the symposium: Dr Kevin Laws, Director of International Projects, and Course Convenor, Educational Management and Leadership; Professor Barbara Fawcett, Professor of Social Work; Dr Lindy Woodrow, Director of the Faculty’s China Education Centre, Dr Changyun Kang, Co-Director of the Chinese Education Centre and Associate Professor Lesley Harbon, Associate Professor in Languages Education as well as colleagues from Beijing Normal, Northeast China Normal University, Southwest University and Fudan University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (‘Hanban’).

The symposium will be held on Thursday 21 October at the Intercontinental Shanghai Expo Hotel, in the Riverview Rooms 3 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Health Roundtable identifies common ground

Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of the Sydney Medical School, speaking at the Roundtable.

Monday 13 September 2010

China and Australia have fundamentally different health systems, but the common challenges facing the two countries will be explored in a series of collaborative research projects agreed upon at a high-level Health Roundtable in Shanghai.

The Roundtable brought together leading researchers, including specialists from the University’s Medical School, as well as policy makers from China and Australia.

In both countries, chronic disease is now the largest preventable cause of death, with the situation in China exacerbated by diet and lifestyle changes related to urbanisation.

The new research projects will seek to gain a better understanding of possible causes and solutions, with one University of Sydney specialist suggesting that action to tackle chronic disease could be linked to policies aimed at combating climate change.

Professor Louise Baur, from the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at Westmead Children's Hospital, said: “If we link these two issues, the need to reduce carbon emissions and deal with these serious health issues, then we can get more people out of their cars and school students walking to school, we can encourage the consumption of locally grown unprocessed foods and we will be making a contribution to both climate change and diabetes and childhood obesity.”

The Roundtable speakers included academics from the University of Sydney, Latrobe and the Australian National University, along with specialists from Peking University, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong. It was also attended by representatives from government and medical organisations from both countries.

Participants discussed recent childhood obesity and diabetes research and explored how to translate research findings into real health outcomes.

“Non-communicable diseases such as these are a growing epidemic in both our countries,” said Professor John Horvath, a senior official from the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. “We have shared problems and, despite different structures, there are some common solutions for prevention and better management of people’s health.”

Dr Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Western Australia, Director of the University’s Graduate School of Government and a member of the National Hospitals and Health Reform Commission, discussed with counterparts from the China Health Economics Institute and other practitioners how to engage governments, city planners and the food industry in finding solutions rather than blaming the victims of childhood obesity and diabetes.

They also considered the social and economic factors contributing to the rise of chronic disease: increased intake of processed foods, larger portion sizes, busier lifestyles with less time for considered food preparation and choice, and decreased physical activity.

The meeting was part of a series of high-level Commonwealth Roundtables, bringing together experts from universities, governments and industry to discuss key challenges facing Australia and China. The roundtables are being coordinated by the University of Sydney on behalf of the Australian Government, as part of the University’s gold sponsorship of the Australian Pavilion at the Expo.

Experts discuss problems of urbanisation

Thursday 26 August 2010

Australian and Chinese leaders from government, universities and the urban planning sector discussed the challenges and opportunities arising out of urbanisation at a roundtable at Shanghai World Expo on Wednesday 25 August.

Areas of critical public interest to China and Australia, including sustainable city growth and quality of life and health, were earmarked for future joint research in both countries.

The Roundtable featured former Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Brian Howe, Chair of the Capital City Strategic Planning Review; former Environment Minister, the Hon Robert Hill, Chair of the Australian Carbon Trust; Xiong Luxia, Shanghai Chief Urban Planner; and key academics.

The event was organised by the University of Sydney on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as part of the University's gold sponsorship of the Australian Pavilion at World Expo 2010. The Roundtable was moderated by Sam Mostyn, Director of the University of Sydney Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

While Australia is highly urbanised, presenters demonstrated that our development model has been low density and with a high impact on the environment. China, in its unprecedented urbanisation process involving more than 100 cities of over 1 million people, is pursuing dense but arguably more sustainable models, with integrated state of the art transport and other infrastructure planning.

Quality of life, while relatively high in Australia, is perceived to be declining due to suburban sprawl and congestion, while China grapples with the need to better prioritise quality of life as it continues to pursue rapid growth.

A shared challenge identified was the rise of chronic diseases associated with urbanisation and a common need to address the social and economic cost through cross-disciplinary approaches.

Participants agreed to pursue further joint research, with Australia accepting the need to study and better understand the unique diversity and broad range of models being pursued across China to tackle sustainable city development.

Roundtable examines trade law and energy security

Dr Michael Spence speaking at the Roundtable

Thursday 12 August 2010

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, was one of the speakers at a roundtable hosted by the Australian Government at the Shanghai World Expo on Wednesday 11 August.

Legal experts from Australia and China discussed how to balance national interests in managing and regulating non-renewable resources with the need for open access to energy markets under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and the Energy Charter.

Australia is a major energy exporter and China a major importer.

Future challenges, such as trade rules for environmental goods and services and the links between secure energy supplies and the need to respond to climate change were explored by the expert group.

Joining the panel discussion alongside academics Associate Professor Vivienne Bath from the University of Sydney and Professor Zhu Lanye from the East China University of Political Science and Law, were practitioners in the business and law of energy trade and investment, Jason Yat-sen Li of Yat-sen Associates, Robert Pritchard of ResourcesLaw International and Ezekiel Solomon AM of Allens Arthur Robinson.

The forum was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and organised by the University of Sydney in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the University’s gold sponsorship of the Australian Pavilion at the Expo.

Expo spotlight turns to biomedicine

Thursday 5 August 2010

Innovations in biomedical engineering, which will help in the fight against some of the world's most feared diseases, will be discussed at the University's third symposium at the Shanghai Expo.

The symposium on Sunday (8 August) is being organised by the Faculty of Engineering and IT, and focuses on the cutting edge of biomedical research where the fields of medicine, engineering and IT collide.

Expo speakers Dagan Feng (left) and Michael Fulham

It is an academic collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Med-X Research Institute and the Faculty of Engineering and IT, and will bring together some of the leading figures in biomedical research from Australia, China and the USA.

Research into diseases such as cancer and dementia now extends well beyond the boundaries of traditional medicine to include experts such as Professor Dagan (David) Feng, who graduated in electrical engineering and computer science.

Professor Feng, who is helping to organise the symposium, is working with a team of research collaborators on new ways of improving the early detection of disease.

"By giving doctors a better chance of identifying disease in its early stages, we are giving patients a better chance of recovery," he said.

"A disease like dementia is a major global health problem that is increasing as the population ages. It is going to be a particular issue in China, where the one-child policy is going to produce a population with a high percentage of old people.

"Early diagnosis of dementia, when the symptoms are mild, is critical to optimise the benefits of new treatments but unfortunately, subtle brain function reductions are extremely difficult to detect, even for the most experienced experts.

"Our research will develop computer-assisted diagnosis of early dementia, when treatment is possible, by improving our ability to read and interpret the information we receive from PET-CT scans.

"We are seeking to greatly enhance the smart use of information and facilitate important new scientific discoveries."

Sunday's symposium will be opened by Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of Engineering and IT, and includes presentations by University of Sydney academics Professor Michael Fulham, Associate Professor Hala Zreiqat, Associate Professor Fariba Dehghani and Dr Alistair McEwan.

Other speakers include Professor Fan Yubo from Beihang University; Professor Huang Gang and Professor Gu Hongchen from the Med-X Research Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Professor Dai Kerong, Director of the Engineering in the Research Centre of Digital Medicine at the Chinese Ministry of Education; Professor Banu Onaral from Drexel University, Philadelphia; and Professor Hu Xiaoping from Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Star gazing in Shanghai

University of Sydney astronomers joined a historic Australia-China Commonwealth Roundtable on Astronomy at the Shanghai Expo on Monday 2 August.

Bryan Gaensler at the Astronomy Roundtable

Leading Sydney scientists Professor Bryan Gaensler and Professor Elaine Sadler formed part of the Australian delegation of astronomers who met with Chinese colleagues to cultivate productive, long-term relationships between Australian and Chinese astronomers, institutions and academies, across all areas of astronomy.

The meeting, chaired by the Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Penny Sackett, took place in the Australian Pavilion and was attended by the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research, Patricia Kelly. Themes discussed at the meeting included the Square Kilometre Array and SKA Pathfinders, current and future collaborations in Very Long Baseline Interferometry, Antarctic astronomy and large optical spectroscopic surveys.

An overarching discussion included developments in technologies that support astronomy, and a call for policy discussion on information sharing regarding infrastructure and data collection and archiving.

Professor Madam Ye – former Director of the Shanghai Observatory – called for greater cooperation and for the Australian astronomers to return to China to strengthen the goodwill and collaboration established, and to build on current partnerships.

The event was organised by the University of Sydney in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the University’s gold sponsorship of the Australian Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010.

University of Sydney to host Spintronics Conference for Worldwide Universities Network

Tuesday 27 July 2010

After hosting a successful spintronics symposium at the Shanghai Expo, the University of Sydney has been chosen as the venue for the 2011 Worldwide Universities Network spintronics conference. The event will be held in November next year and will bring some of the world's leading spintronics researchers to Sydney.

Dr Rongkun Zheng

Dr Rongkun Zheng, an ARC Australian Research Fellow in the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (ACMM) at the University, said the conference had become one of the most important gatherings of spintronics experts. It has previously been held in Europe, Asia and America.

Spintronics research focuses on the spin degree of freedom of electrons to look at new ways of processing information in electrical circuits. Scientists hope it will lead to a new generation of faster, smaller and more powerful electronic devices. Last month Dr Zheng and his colleague Professor Simon Ringer, Director of the ACMM, organised the University's spintronics symposium at the Shanghai Expo, attended by some of China's leading researchers.

"It was a very good opportunity to show the depth and scale of our research and promote our links with Chinese partners," said Dr Zheng.

"It was also a great opportunity to promote the University in China, and according to the feedback from the Chinese speakers and audience, it has helped to strengthen our presence in China."

The Worldwide Universities Network is a group of 16 research-led universities engaged in global research collaboration. Its chief executive is Professor John Hearn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International at the University of Sydney.

NSW Premier gives in-principle support to China Studies Centre Partnership

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Following a finance roundtable at the Shanghai Expo, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has given her in-principle support to a formal partnership between the NSW Government and the University of Sydney for a new China Studies Centre at the University.

The Centre will open next year and aims to further develop business, language and cultural links between Australia and China.

The University hosted the NSW Premier and leaders in international finance from Australia and China at a roundtable at the Shanghai World Expo on 12 July. The event was attended by the Australian Ambassador to China, Dr Geoff Raby, who has also joined the advisory council of the new China Studies Centre. The University also participated in activities throughout NSW Week at World Expo, promoting its links to China and its contribution to the Australia-China relationship.

NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally

The Deputy Chancellor, Alan Cameron AM, and the Acting Executive Director of the China Studies Centre, David Morris, met Premier Keneally in Shanghai to enlist the NSW Government’s support as a partner in the project. David Morris then joined the Premier’s delegation to Guangzhou, meeting the Governor of the Province, the Director General of Guangdong’s Education Department and other leaders of NSW’s sister state in China.

The Premier expressed her in-principle support for the partnership during a meeting with Mr Morris in Guangzhou. “The NSW Government values our strong friendship with China and I believe the University of Sydney China Studies Centre would be a valuable addition to this relationship,” Ms Keneally said.

The University of Sydney was the only non-government member of the Premier’s delegation and agreed with key Guangdong departments to strengthen cooperation, including the provision of leadership and other training programs for senior Guangdong officials in Sydney.

The China Studies Centre will be a hub for leadership dialogue, research partnerships and business and government development between Australia and China. It will provide education programs to deliver competitive, China-literate graduates into the NSW workforce.

The Centre will also engage with major Chinese cities and provincial business and cultural centres. This will provide opportunities to expand on the business links NSW has already established in China following the opening of NSW Government offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou last year.

Growth on the agenda at Finance Roundtable

Following a signing ceremony for an agreement between NSW and Shanghai on cooperation in international finance, the University of Sydney hosted a high level roundtable in Shanghai at which NSW Premier, the Hon Kristina Keneally MP, and the head of Shanghai's Financial Services Office, Feng Xinghai, discussed areas of opportunity and potential for mutual learning as emerging financial centres.

Premier Keneally outlined Sydney's goals to build upon its strengths as Australia's financial capital by further internationalising its financial services industry, playing a greater regional role and through the development of a new international finance district in the new harbour-front development at Barangaroo.

Mr Feng noted that Shanghai's long-term ambitions are to be the third global financial capital after London and New York, and that in that journey Shanghai would work closely with Sydney, as a key regional centre of excellence, for mutual benefit and opportunities in both cities.

Industry leaders from Australia and China participated in the roundtable, chaired by Mr Alan Cameron AM, as Deputy Chancellor of the University of Sydney, and with a broad-ranging discussion facilitated by Tim Harcourt, Austrade Chief Economist. Business participants included Mark Johnston AO, author of a report to the Australian Government on developing the international financial services industry; Lu Hongjun, President of the Shanghai Institute of International Finance; Warwick Smith AM of ANZ Bank; Lian Ping, Chief Economist of the Bank of Communications; Kevin McCann AM, of Macquarie Group; Xu Guozhen, Vice-President of China Development Bank; Gao Sheldon, CEO of China Universal Asset Management; and Peter Holmes a Court, Chairman of the Greater Sydney Partnership.

Academic input to the discussion was led by Professor Alex Frino, author of Introduction to Chinese Future Markets, and Professor Jiao JinPu, from the Graduate School of the People's Bank of China.

The roundtable was also attended by the Australian Ambassador to China, Dr Geoff Raby; Barry Buffier, Deputy Director-General of Industry and Investment NSW; as well as the Australian Commissioner General for Shanghai World Expo, Ms Lyndall Sachs AM. The event was held in the boardroom of the Australian Pavilion at the Expo, the venue for a series of high level events being organised by the University of Sydney as a Gold Sponsor of the Australian Government's Expo Program. The NSW Government is also a Gold Partner of the Australian Pavilion.

The participants agreed to meet again in Sydney in 2011 to ensure continued progress in the relationship between the two financial centres.

Adventurous ideas at the Expo

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Business experts from Australia and China made their way through the crowds at the Shanghai Expo on Monday to share their ideas on reform and innovation at the second University of Sydney symposium.

Professor Alex Frino (left) and Deputy Chancellor Alan Cameron at the Australian Pavilion.

The event, organised by the Faculty of Economics and Business, was part of the University's ongoing involvement with the Expo as a gold sponsor of the Australian Pavilion.

It brought together faculty staff, research partners from Chinese universities, and representatives from some of the leading corporate heavyweights in China.

Professor Peter Wolnizer, Dean of Economics and Business, described the program - based around the theme of reform for innovation and enterprise - as "an exciting adventure of ideas".

Alex Frino, Professor of Finance and chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre, outlined one reform which is set to have a huge impact on already-booming China.

The China CSI 300 Futures Contract allows traders to buy or sell the leading 300 stocks in the Chinese marketplace in one transaction. Launched in April, it is already generating 350,000 contracts a day, each worth approximately US$120,000.

Professor Frino predicted that by the end of the year the CSI 300 would be the second biggest futures contract in the world and that it would be the spur for tremendous innovation and product development.

"A contract like this is the backbone for financial product development," he said. "It reduces the risk for investors and reduces volatility in the market."

Opening the symposium, the Commissioner General of the Australian Pavilion, Lyndall Sachs, said 3.2 million visitors had passed through the pavilion since it opened on 1 May.

"Our presence here shows to the massive China market and to the world that Australia is not just a mine, a farm or a beach but a dynamic country with a robust competitive economy, a stable and culturally diverse democratic society and a skilled workforce," she said.

"This is an $83 million dollar project - our largest ever investment in an Expo - and it is commensurate with the scope and scale of our relationship with Australia's largest trading partner."

The symposium was also attended by Alan Cameron, the University's Deputy Chancellor; Kevin McCann, Fellow of Senate; and John Egan, chair of the corporate advisory board to the Faculty of Economics and Business.

Spin Doctors

Tuesday 29 June 2010

The University of Sydney’s involvement in the Expo has stepped up a gear with the first of its organised events, a symposium looking at the emerging field of spintronics technology.

Professor Simon Ringer, Director of the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis

Spintronics researchers work in microseconds and at a sub-atomic scale – but their discoveries could produce the next generation of computers and electronic devices.

They are moving towards a new way of processing information that will be infinitely more powerful than anything we have at present, and will lead to faster, smaller and more complex electronic devices.

The symposium was chaired by Professor Simon Ringer, director of the University’s Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, and one of Australia’s leading spintronics researchers.

It also featured contributions from some world-leading researchers from China including Professor Rong Zhang from Nanjing and Professor Qikun Xue from Tsinghua University.
Professor John Hearn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, said the symposium showed the strength of the University’s research links with China and the depth of scientific knowledge in both countries.

In the latest Thomson Reuters Global Research Report, the University of Sydney was ranked fifth in the world for scientific research collaborations with China.

The University’s next event at the Shanghai Expo will be an economics and business symposium on July 12.

Shanghai celebrates Australia Day

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Australia’s designated national day at the Shanghai Expo on Tuesday 8 June will celebrate Australian culture and tradition, with performances and events planned throughout the day in the Australia pavilion.

Australia Day

The University of Sydney is a gold sponsor of the Australia pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, and Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr Michael Spence will visit Shanghai to celebrate the national day along with a range of high-profile Australian guests.

The University of Sydney has a longstanding relationship with China, and is currently developing plans to base a China Studies Centre at the university which will co-ordinate and provide direction to the university's already substantial work on and in China. The university has been teaching Chinese Studies for nearly 100 years.

Dr Spence will attend a luncheon to be held in the Australia pavilion to honour the visit of Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. An Australia National Day concert and evening reception will also be held on the day.

There are over 190 nations taking park in the Shanghai Expo, and it is expected that more than 70 million people will visit the expo.

Frontiers of Knowledge Symposium: Spintronics

Tuesday 8 June 2010

The University of Sydney is looking forward to its first major event of the Shanghai Expo which will showcase a new way of processing information that promises to be infinitely more powerful than the traditional binary system of ones and zeros.

The new technology, known as spintronics, will be the subject of the first Frontiers of Knowledge symposium staged by the University of Sydney at the Shanghai Expo on 28 June.


The symposium will be chaired by Professor Simon Ringer, Director of the University's Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis and one of Australia’s leading spintronics researchers. It will also involve world-leading Chinese researchers from Nanjing, Tsinghua and Shanghai Jiao-Tong universities.

Spintronics takes its name from the way that electrons spin whilst they move around, for example in electric circuits.

Read full article about Spintronics in our feature stories

Media representatives should contact Richard North (details below) if they wish to attend the symposium or interview participants.

Further symposiums will be held throughout the period of the Expo on health, economics and business, biomedical engineering and education.


Professor Simon Ringer
Director of the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis
02 9351 4215

Richard North
International media and communications manager
02 9351 3191
0425 395 370