|Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is set to welcome hundreds of Chinese students following an agreement signed by LIT with Yangtze University in the Chinese city of Jingzhou. President of LIT Dr Maria Hinfelaar led a delegation from LIT where she signed unique and exclusive agreements with Yangtze University which will see up to 120 Chinese students a year coming to Limerick from 2013 onwards to study at LIT.|
The agreement signed with LIT is the first collaborative agreement with an Irish higher education institute for Yangtze University which already has international links with the US, Germany, South Korea, and the UK. Yangtze University is the only university in Jingzhou city, which has a population of 6 million and was once a regional capital city of ancient China. Yangtze University has nearly 50000 students spread over a number of campuses and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The city of Jingzhou is currently undergoing rapid expansion and major infrastructural development.
The first wave of Chinese students coming to LIT will study in the areas of civil engineering and construction management with further programmes in other discipline areas being explored. In a unique agreement Chinese students will study for the first three years at Yangtze University on an LIT recognised programme and then complete their final year of study at LIT. Head of School of the Built Environment, Ms Maria Kyne, who was part of the LIT delegation to China said, “The School looks forward to working in collaboration with Yangtze University and to welcoming the Chinese students to our programmes. The School of the Built Environment has a long tradition of providing construction, property and civil engineering education in the Mid-West Region.’
The innovative LIT agreement with Yangtze University comes as a result of a series of meetings between the executive teams at both colleges over the past number of months. In August of this year Professor Xi Chuanjin, Dean of the International College at Yangtze University visited LIT to meet with faculty from the School of the Built Environment. The agreement will be developed to allow for LIT student mobility which will benefit LIT students interested in studying in China. Other areas of cooperation being discussed include staff mobility and research activities.
Dr Hinfelaar, President of LIT, welcomed the agreement with the Chinese University,
“The demand for more qualified professionals in the construction and civil engineering professions in China is growing which is why tuition and accommodation costs for the students who will come to LIT will be covered by the Chinese government. The presence of Chinese students will greatly enhance the international experience of all our students on campus.”
This agreement is the third major announcement for LIT since the beginning of the academic year: in September the Institute announced details of its ambitious €200m Campus Masterplan and last month LIT was awarded the Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year for 2012/13.