11 October 2017 at 9:00 am

Kiwi-China joint institute opens in Hangzhou

A new joint institute by the University of Waikato and the Zhejiang University City College in Hangzhou offers degrees in finance, computer graphic design and design media.

The joint institute’s opening ceremony last month saw China and New Zealand representatives join Waikato and ZUCC staff to welcome 230 students to the campus.

The institute opened last month after being formally approved by China’s Ministry of Education in late 2016. 

Its first intake has 230 students, with the University of Waikato expecting to have 1,000 students enrolled by 2021.

Students will be offered degrees in finance, computer graphic design and design media, taught by academics from both the University of Waikato and the Zhejiang University City College (ZUCC).

The institute will also welcome exchange students from the university’s Hamilton and Tauranga campuses.

The nearly 9,000m2 purpose-built facility is designed with New Zealand design principles, teaching approaches and standards in mind.

University of Waikato, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alister Jones said the development of the joint institute was the result of the university’s work and investment in China for more than 15 years.

“The University of Waikato is the first New Zealand university to receive this kind of approval.

“Over the years, the relationship between ZUCC and the University of Waikato has evolved from student programmes, staff training and a dual degree, to the establishment of this joint institute.”

The institute has set the foundation for an exciting future for the university’s programmes in China, Professor Jones said.

“It reflects the hard work that staff in Hamilton and Hangzhou have carried out to get us to this important stage.

“The joint institute uses digital learning technologies and classroom and building design that encourages social interaction.

“We also offer our students in China a uniquely New Zealand education experience, which comes from our commitment to Māori language and culture, and the distinct cultural and historical perspective that it brings,” he said.

ZUCC students

Several new students were also awarded scholarships to programmes at the joint institute.  

ENZ’s Regional Director for North Asia, Adele Bryant said it was wonderful to see high-quality students join the programmes at the institute.

“ENZ has worked with the university since 2014 to support the development of the joint institute, so it’s fantastic to see that this investment has been worthwhile.”

“The programmes on offer respond to the students’ desire for a global degree that embraces both Kiwi and Chinese cultures, and gives them a truly international qualification.”

The University of Waikato is now looking to extend its partnership with ZUCC, and work with businesses in Hangzhou and other regions to develop internship opportunities for students.

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