As part of the drive for greater investment and exchange between the Hunter and China, a new agreement will be announced today during the NSW-Asia Business Council visit to the region.
Council Chairman the Hon Henry Tsang, OAM MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and assisting the Treasurer on Trade and Investment, is leading the visit of Council members, business people and Asian media to Newcastle and the Hunter.
NSW Premier Morris Iemma will officially sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Newcastle and Shanghai's East China University of Science and Technology during his mission to China in May. Australia's Tertiary Education International helped to facilitate the MoU.
Member for Newcastle, Jodi McKay MP, said the MoU brought together leading researchers to tackle the great challenges of energy and the environment.
"The Memorandum of Understanding paves the way for our local University to partner with the East China University of Science and Technology in energy and environmental sustainability – areas of strength for both institutions.
"The credentials of Newcastle in energy and environmental research are well established. This new partnership will bolster the University's work, particularly in the area of clean coal research, providing vital knowledge and information that will significantly benefit our local region."
In addition to research, the Universities will collaborate on the development of executive training programs in planning and managing for environmental sustainability.
Preparation courses for Chinese students wishing to study in Australia are also included in the MoU.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders, said courses would be jointly developed to ease the transition for Chinese students to study in Australia, particularly at Newcastle.
"Helping our international students make the most of their time here both academically and socially is important to the University of Newcastle. This agreement will provide another resource to support international students as they prepare to arrive in Australia."
Professor Saunders said the MoU with East China University of Science and Technology consolidated the University of Newcastle's growing relationship with China.
"In 2007, the University increased its engagement with leading universities in China. Asia is a major growth area for the institution, and we are keen to continue to explore all opportunities in the region."
Media note and photo opportunity: Ms McKay will announce the Memorandum of Understanding at 10.30am Friday 2 May 2008 at Department of State and Regional Development (DSRD) Hunter Regional Office, Level 3, 251 Wharf Road, Newcastle.