State Government Super Trade Mission
The La Trobe University Joint Health Services Management Training (offshore) program will operate on the Sichuan University campus in Chengdu, Western China.
Its key offering will be the University’s unique bi-lingual Master of Health Administration degree.
Registered with the Australian Government, the degree provides professional training and teaching for senior managers, policy makers and government officials in health, social insurance, civil affairs, drug administration and community services industries throughout China.
A series of certificate courses, as well as non-formal courses tailored for Chinese health workers and health services managers, will also be offered.
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, said the La Trobe China Health Program has worked very closely with the Victorian Department of Health since the 1990s, promoting advanced experience and knowledge of health care in China.
He said the program – commended by the Australian University Quality Agency as a ‘jewel in the crown’ of La Trobe's international activities – was established at Harbin Medical University in 1996.
‘Since then, more than 1,000 students have graduated from the program and are now working in almost every province in China, making an important contribution to the development of that country’s health system.’
La Trobe has also been the biggest research partner in China over the past three years in health services research and health system development funded through AusAID.
Professor Dewar said China is undertaking one of the world’s largest health system reforms, but there was a large gap in wealth and welfare between eastern and western China.
Sichuan is one of the most populated provinces in China and the economic centre of western China.
‘There is a need in Western China to strengthen its health care system, hence this new arrangement with Sichuan University.’
Professor Dewar said the La Trobe Master of Health degree is also one of the few courses approved to be taught onshore in Australia in languages other than English.
‘The curriculum has been based on extensive research into the training needs of health care managers in China in consultation with academics from leading Chinese universities’.
The La Trobe agreement involves exchange programs for teaching and research staff as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students. There will also be reciprocal credit recognition for health administration courses on both campuses.
World-leading role in agribio and molecular sciences
Another key agreement signed during the Trade Mission to China was with Nanjing Agricultural University, Jiangsu Province.
Nanjing Agricultural University is a pioneer of modern agricultural education and ranks 39th in the 2008 Chinese University Ranking List.
La Trobe Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering, Professor Brian McGaw, said Victoria had a strong relationship with Jiangsu, and there was a ‘synergy of research interests’ between La Trobe and Nanjing Agricultural University.
‘With the new $288 million AgriBio, Centre for Agribioscience, on La Trobe’s Melbourne campus, and the $98 million La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences (LIMS), La Trobe will have a world-leading role in agriculture, molecular sciences and nanotechnology related research,’ Professor McGaw said.
‘So we are committed to developing strong research collaboration and student exchange opportunities with leading universities across the world,’ he added.
While in China La Trobe University is taking part in Victorian Government sponsored alumni networking events, including those of its Hong Kong graduates.
It is also signing two Memoranda of Understanding, with Beijing and Guangzhou Universities, involving the work of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law and the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering.
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