Polytech launches degree in China

The Otago Polytechnic has broken new ground by launching an engineering technology degree in China, which will eventually bring up to 120 Chinese students to Dunedin each year.

The bachelor of engineering technology (mechanical engineering) initiative marks a big step forward for Otago Polytechnic.

Project implementation manager John Findlay confirmed this was the first programme involving the polytechnic which was jointly taught in China, and approved by the Chinese Government.

The qualification will be delivered in partnership with Dalian Ocean University in Lianing province, in northeast China.

The first three years of the four-year degree will be completed in China.

Otago Polytechnic lecturers will travel there for up to six weeks at a time to deliver some of the programme.

The students will later travel to Dunedin to complete their final year at the Otago Polytechnic campus.

The Chinese Government has approved an annual intake of 120 students.

The first 60 students start this September,

the intake will increase to 90 next year and reach 120 in 2018.

The first Chinese students will come to Dunedin under the programme in July-August 2019.

Mr Findlay said this "important'' development would be mutually beneficial; Chinese students would gain a qualification from their own home institution and a degree from one of New Zealand's leading polytechnics.

Polytechnic staff would develop closer contacts with Chinese colleagues, and some staff at the Chinese institution would also undertake professional development training at the polytechnic campus.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull will attend the launch of the degree on Wednesday next week.

Otago Polytechnic director, internationalisation, Marc Doesburg said this was a "significant development'', which reflected the polytechnic's increasing focus on "cultivating lasting international partnerships''.

Mr Cull said the polytechnic's partnership with the Chinese university was "yet another exciting development in Dunedin's strong and mutually beneficial educational links with China''.

Dunedin was regarded in China as a "highly valued international education partner'' and study destination for international students.

Dunedin had more than 4000 international tertiary students and secondary school pupils last year, about one quarter were from China.

That brought "obvious economic and cultural benefits'' to the city, he said.


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