Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today Wednesday, 20 March, announced the development of an Irish Studies Centre at Shanghai University, deepening further the links between UCC and China. UCC was one of several Irish third level institutions present when the Minister witnessed the signing of Memorandums of Understanding with Chinese education partners during Minister McHugh’s St Patrick’s Day programme.
Minister McHugh said: “The creation in Shanghai University of a centre for Irish Studies is significant in so many ways. It demonstrates the great interest in and awareness of Irish culture and heritage in China, and the growing demand for Chinese students to experience world-class teaching in this area. It is a testament to the excellence of academia in UCC that Shanghai University has chosen Ireland and UCC to partner with, and it is a tribute to the work that has been conducted by the UCC and Shanghai teams to build relationships and understanding, in the global context.
“The Government’s Global Ireland Framework aims to double Ireland’s global footprint by 2025, and institutes like this are a crucial part of this concept – building cultural understanding and friendship among peoples and among nations.”
Shanghai has selected UCC as one of 16 universities worldwide to deepen relationships with. UCC was selected because Shanghai University rated it for excellence in food science, the arts and business.
UCC has had a growing relationship with Shanghai University since 2005 and hosts regular reciprocal visits by administrative and academic staff, bolstered by the twinning of cities of Shanghai and Cork. Student exchanges initiated in 2011, with six exchange students attending UCC from SHU every year.
The delegation from UCC in attendance included Prof. Patrick O`Shea, UCC President, Prof. Mark Poustie, Incoming Dean of Law School, Prof. Andrew Wheeler, Head of School of BEES, Paul Giller, Former VP and Registrar, Professor in School of BEES Prof. Eleanor Doyle, Vice Dean of CUBS, Dr Maurice O’Sullivan, Food Science China Coordinator, Ms. Emma Connolly, International Strategy Officer, Ms. Bei Zhang, Manager of UCC Beijing Representative Office , Ms. Naxuan Hao, Deputy Manager of UCC Beijing Representative Office.
The new Irish Studies Centre been developed through UCC’s Confucius Institute and International Office. The centre will offer an Irish Studies pathway for a diploma for students in the university. It will offer lectures in Irish culture from visiting UCC academics. The centre will also help facilitate research by matching SHU and UCC academics for projects
Minister McHugh said:I look forward to much more cultural exchange between our two countries, to the fruits of enhanced cooperation and the enriched research that will flow from this unique partnership.
“This development is the result of much work on both sides, and I congratulate the teams involved in both universities, and wish every success to all involved in making this centre an outstanding success.”
The Minister’s St. Patrick’s Day trip programme continues for several days with further visits to educational institutions with links to Ireland in south China and Hong Kong as well as engagements with the Irish community.