Victoria's leading universities will offer up to 70 new scholarships to Chinese students next year in a bid to strengthen educational ties with China.
Making the announcement during an address to the Victoria Applied Research Symposium in Beijing on Monday, Premier Ted Baillieu said Victoria had a world class research and education offering that was well matched to China's needs.
"Victoria's universities already have a strong history of partnerships in China, including academic and research collaborations, and staff and student exchanges," Mr Baillieu said.
"These scholarships will be open to Chinese students and will drive research and development for the benefit of both Victoria and China."
Mr Baillieu said last year Chinese students made up almost a third of Victoria's international student enrolments.
"Victoria has strengths in research areas of global significance including clean coal technology, medical research and biotechnology," Mr Baillieu said.
"We are home to nine world-class universities, with major medical research capabilities, and Melbourne has been named the world's most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit for two years in a row.
"We also have 139 biotech companies, 13 major medical research institutes, seven teaching hospitals and the Australian Synchrotron," Mr Baillieu said.
Scholarships open to Chinese students include:
- Deakin University - 10 PhD scholarships;
- La Trobe University - Up to 22 scholarships, including one PhD scholarship and one international scholarship for coursework Bachelor or Master's degree commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Australia-China friendship;
- RMIT - Four PhD scholarships in pharmaceutical sciences, urban planning, creative media/computer gaming and aerospace engineering;
- Swinburne University of Technology - Eight PhD scholarships in engineering, physical and chemical sciences, information and communication technologies, social sciences, life and health sciences, business and enterprise or design;
- University of Ballarat - Three PhD scholarships, one each in mathematics, bio-medical science and computing/information technology;
- University of Melbourne - More than 20 additional scholarships next year for PhD students from a range of Chinese institutions in partnership with the China Scholarships Council. It is expected that a further 30 to40 of the 350 new International PhD scholarships offered by the University of Melbourne each year will be provided to applicants from China; and
- Victoria University - Two PhD scholarships, one each in Business and Information Technology.The Premier also witnessed the signing of five agreements between Victorian and Chinese universities and industries.
"I am delighted to witness the signing of these agreements which signify Victoria's and China's commitment to expanding research, business and cultural ties," Mr Baillieu said.
Swinburne University of Technology and Beijing Institute of Technology - A general Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), a student exchange agreement, an academic staff exchange agreement and a partnered PhD agreement;
Swinburne and Beihang University (BUAA) - MoU covering joint delivery of a PhD program, student/staff exchange, joint academic conferences, credit recognition at post graduate and under graduate levels and collaborative research and publishing;
Deakin University with Beijing Institute of Technology - MoU formalising the partnership between Deakin and Beijing Institute of Technology, particularly for credit recognition for student pathways and research collaborations;
LaTrobe University and Central University of Finance and Economics - MoU supporting the current successful student study tour arrangements which support 50 business students from La Trobe University to attend Central University of Finance and Economics in China, and opening the possibility for extending this to a full two-way student exchange and research collaboration;
Swinburne and China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association - Swinburne re-signed an MoU with CNIA (originally established in March 2012) covering a two-way visiting scholars program, development of a joint academic conference, development of executive capacity building for CNIA's member universities, enterprises and research institutes and an introduction to Kunming University of Science and Technology (KUST).
Mr Baillieu also witnessed the signing of a communiqué between the Department of Business and Innovation and the influential China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.
The communiqué affirms the intention to explore opportunities for collaboration in the areas of education, applied research, innovation, science and technology.
"International partnerships between universities and research institutes are becoming more important in our globalised economy," Mr Baillieu said.
"The Coalition Government will continue to encourage Victoria's education sector to embrace opportunities with their Chinese partners."
The symposium was held as part of the Coalition Government's super trade mission to China, which is visiting 13 cities and includes delegates from more than 400 Victorian organisations.