More than 400 Victoria University (VU) students have been conferred at VU’s annual China graduation, held at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing on Sunday (July 3).
The ceremony marked the graduation of 404 international students whom have all achieved VU qualifications from VU’s offshore partners; CUFE and Liaoning University in China; Sunway College in Malaysia; the Australian College of Kuwait; Hanoi University in Vietnam; and Lithan Academy in Singapore.
The China graduation is one of four official VU graduation rounds annually, and a significant international event in VU’s milestone year – the centenary of the founding of VU’s predecessor, the Footscray Technical School, in February 1916.
A tradition in all VU graduation ceremonies, the occasional speech delivered by CUFE President, Professor Wang Guangqian, highlighted the importance of the VU-CUFE partnership, which has enabled CUFE students to graduate with VU business degrees in international trade and financial risk management since 2004.
In the week preceding the ceremony, a delegation of VU leaders, led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins and Vice-President International, Steve Berridge, attended a series of key networking and alumni events in Hong Kong and China to strengthen VU’s alumni network.
A component of these activities included a focus on enhancing VU’s longstanding transnational education partnerships with China, underpinned by the transfer of nearly 200 Chinese students to VU later this month for a semester of their studies.
The delegation held meetings with CUFE to develop new international partnerships in sports and research, including the expansion of the China Economy Research Centre, and visited the University of International Business and Economics, whom VU has partnered with to create the Victoria Business Confucius Institute (VBCI) in Melbourne. The VBCI will offer Chinese business culture and business language courses, and facilitate Chinese cross-cultural events in a range of local community settings.
Another important event in the week-long China program was the VU Alumni China Centenary Celebration.
Held at the Regent Hotel in Beijing on Saturday (July 2), the event recognised the achievements of VU’s 10,000-plus China alumni – who comprise five per cent of VU’s 200,000-strong global alumni network.
The centenary dinner was attended by more than 200 guests, including senior leaders from VU and its partner institutions, and featured an address by VU Master of Business Administration alumni Larry Li, who is the President of the Beijing Energy Association International Suppliers Branch.
Following the graduation, the Vice-Chancellor hosted an exclusive partners’ centenary dinner at the Regent Hotel, while the VU delegation also attended a professional networking event hosted by Victoria’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino, as part of the State Government’s Victorian Connection initiative.
VU Vice-President International, Steve Berridge, said the week’s events are an important part of VU’s China engagement strategy.
"Our China graduation ceremonies are a celebration of student achievement, which is at the heart of the University’s international strategy," Mr Berridge said.
VU Transnational Education Development Director, Rhys Williams, said VU’s China alumni are an important part of VU’s 100-year history.
"Many of our alumni hold respected positions in Australia and China, reflecting the value of a bilingual, bi-cultural and cutting-edge degree, which provides 21st Century global employment skills." Mr Williams said.
Reflecting the University’s international reputation, VU has been delivering education in Asia for more than 30 years. Through these valuable partnerships, students have the opportunity to complete VU English language, diploma, bachelor and masters courses at home or abroad.