Australian university leader calls for deeper academic cooperation with China

(People's Daily Online) 16:25, July 06, 2023

Micheal Wesley, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (international) of University of Melbourne calls for more academic collaboration with Chinese universities.

In an article titled “Australia must engage with China, our future depends on it”, which appears in Australian Financial Review, he says, “There is no realistic future scenario in which China will not be one of the most significant countries affecting Australia’s future. This means we need to understand China more, not less.” The vice-chancellor adds that in engaging with China’s universities, we are tapping into the most informed, critical, internationalist and liberal institutions in Chinese society.

“Two-way academic exchanges and collaborations are the best way for our society to keep abreast of a rapidly changing society and its evolving government imperatives.”

“It is also mistaken to believe that ending collaboration with Australian universities will hamper China’s rise as a technology power.” Wesley says, “China has already risen.”

He continues that “Its nine leading universities are much better funded than any of Australia’s, or the world’s outside the elite American universities. According to recent studies referenced in the journal Science, Chinese researchers account for the highest proportion of the most cited scientific papers of any country in the world. Other studies also show Chinese research is rising fast in innovation and quality.”

Wesley says universities depend on access to the best talent and best ideas and, of course, these are not concentrated in any particular segment of the world’s population. “Closing off our knowledge sector from one-fifth of humanity, and a research system that is growing in resources and capability, would be a major mistake.”

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Wu Chengliang)


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