Universities Australia (UA) has a long standing close relationship with its counterpart organisation in China, The China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). UA and CEAIE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in October 1998, which was renewed in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012 and 2017. The purpose of this agreement is to promote cooperation which will advance teaching, research, scholarship and management in their member institutions.
The latest re-signing of the UA-CEAIE was in November 2017. The signing ceremony coincided with the Deputy Secretary General of CEAIE, Ms Shen Xue Song leading a delegation of 66 leaders from Chinese universities to visit Universities Australia. This latest iteration of the agreement includes a new focus on work-integrated learning and employability and student services. The accompanying 2017-2020 UA-CEAIE workplan commits the organisations to working together to build and enhance relationships between regional Australian and Chinese universities.
A major part of the program of activities run by UA and CEAIE is the China-Australia Higher Education Cooperation Program. Since its establishment in 1999, the program has supported more than 200 university leaders, from Vice-President to Director level, from both Australia and China to travel to each other’s country for two to four weeks of training and mentoring.
The program has built opportunities for collaboration and deepened the relationship between the Chinese and Australian university sectors. The number of partnerships between Australian and Chinese universities has significantly increased as a result of this program. Following the priorities of the UA-CEAIE workplan, the latest version of the program targets participation by Australian regional universities, with a view to increasing linkages between Australian regional and Chinese universities in second and third-tier cities.