The Chinese Ministry of Education has approved a joint degree in design between Athlone Institute of Technology and Jianghan University in Wuhan, China.
One hundred students have commenced on the programme in China. The announcement was made during a visit by AIT president, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and the most populous city in Central China with 10 million inhabitants.
AIT and Jianghan University are also pursuing joint programmes in biological technology and mechanical engineering, with an ultimate objective of developing a joint institute.
Professor Ó Catháin said: “AIT attaches great importance to its international partnerships, particularly those with higher education institutions in China. The establishment of the relationship with Jianghan University involved careful consideration of a number of factors.
“Jianghan University is ranked top among the universities and institutions in Wuhan in terms of teaching quality and it has received significant support from the local government of Wuhan city. This cooperation agreement is consistent with AIT’s strategic vision to be a globally-focused institution.
“This collaboration creates a win-win situation, where Chinese students can enjoy high-quality education and AIT can strengthen its links in China. This type of collaboration will promote the cultural and educational exchange between China and Ireland.”
AIT and Jianghan University have been in discussions since 2012. A cooperation agreement signed last year committed the institutions to the development of a long-term strategic partnership, the launch of a student exchange programme and teacher-training programme.
Jianghan University offers 51 degree programmes covering a wide range of areas of study including economics, management, law, liberal arts and history, education, science, engineering, physical education, health technology, agriculture, and medicine. The university has 16,000 full-time students and boasts a faculty of 975 lecturers, including 500 professors and associate professors.
The university also has 20 scientific research institutes, including the Institute of Development and the Institute of Higher Education Research. It has international collaborations with universities and academic organisations in the United States, France, Japan, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Korea.
AIT offers more than 20 per cent of the 51 joint degrees between Ireland and China, which are approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education. AIT has more than 1,000 Chinese graduates to date.