Pictured signing an agreement to collaborate on both education and research activities are Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council. Witnessing the signing, which took place in The Great Hall of the People, are President Michael D. Higgins and President of China, Xi Jinping.
Dec 10 2014 Posted: 10:22 GMT

NUI Galway signed an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China, to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit.

Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University.

Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities.

The agreement features: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information.

Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed.

The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway.

NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.”

The signing took place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003. Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, were the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit aims to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President was be accompanied by Sabina Higgins.

Dr Jim Browne travelled as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He was accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs.

NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community.

Comhaontú sínithe ag OÉ Gaillimh le ceann de phríomh-ollscoileanna na Síne le linn Chuairt Stáit an Uachtaráin Uí Uiginn.

Shínigh OÉ Gaillimh comhaontú inniu, Dé Máirt, an 9 Nollaig, le hOllscoil Tsinghua sa tSín ar mhaithe le comhoibriú oideachais agus taighde idir an dá institiúid. Bhí Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, agus Uachtarán na Síne, Xi Jinping, ina bhfinnéithe ar an síniú, a rinneadh i Halla Mór an Phobail i mBéising, díreach roimh an bhFéasta Stáit in onóir na cuairte.

Tá baint ag chaon Uachtarán náisiúnta leis na hollscoileanna – alumnus de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn agus is céimí de chuid Ollscoil Tsinghua é an tUachtarán Xi.

Shínigh an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, agus Chen Xu, Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Ollscoil Tsinghua, an Meamram Comhthuisceana thar ceann a n-ollscoile féin.

Sonraítear sa chomhaontú: taighde i bpáirt i réimsí inspéise ag an dá ollscoil; malartú comhaltaí foirne acadúla agus taighdeoirí; malartú mac léinn; comhreáchtáil seimineár agus cruinnithe acadúla; malartú ábhar oideachais; agus taighde, foilseacháin agus eolas acadúil.

Tá taighde agus teagasc san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht thar a bheith láidir sa dá ollscoil. Don bhliain acadúil 2015/16, táthar tar éis aontú ar mhalartú mac léinn bunchéime innealtóireachta agus ar shoghluaisteacht mhéadaithe i gcás mic léinn iarchéime.

Eascraíonn an comhaontú as comhoibriú dlúth atá ar bun cheana féin idir an dá ollscoil. I gcúrsaí taighde, cuireadh bailchríoch le deireanas ar thionscadal trí bliana AE i dtaobh bithchomharthaí ailse; OÉ Gaillimh a bhí ina ceanneagraíocht ar an tionscadal agus Ollscoil Tsinghua ina comhpháirtí aici. Tá 27 céimí ó Tsinghua tagtha go OÉ Gaillimh le fiche bliain anuas agus iad ag tabhairt faoi chláir iarchéime anseo. Lena chois sin, tá roinnt poist shinsearacha acadúla in Ollscoil Tsinghua ag céimithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, agus tá alumni de chuid Ollscoil Tsinghua ag teagasc in OÉ Gaillimh.

I gcaitheamh na mblianta, stiúir an tUachtarán Browne roinnt mhaith céimithe ó Ollscoil Tsinghua a tháinig go OÉ Gaillimh mar mhic léinn PhD agus mháistreachta san innealtóireacht thionsclaíoch. Ag labhairt dó faoin gcomhaontú, dúirt sé: “Comhaontú stairiúil é seo, agus cuireann sé leis an traidisiún fada malartuithe oideachais idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Tsinghua, i réimse na hInnealtóireachta go mór mór. Agus an comhaontú seo á shíniú againn, táimid ag súil go mór leis an gcomhoibriú eadrainn a neartú tuilleadh ionas go mbeidh an-deis ag mic léinn bhunchéime agus iarchéime an dá ollscoil cuairt a thabhairt ar institiúidí a chéile; táimid ag súil freisin go dtiocfaidh comhpháirtíochtaí nua chun cinn i réimsí éagsúla taighde. Tá sé thar a bheith feiliúnach go bhfuil an comhaontú seo á shíniú agus an dá Uachtarán náisiúnta i láthair – iad beirt ina gcéimithe de chuid na hollscoile atá ina dtír féin.”

Síníodh an comhaontú le linn Chuairt Stáit an Uachtaráin Micheál D. Ó hUiginn ar an tSín. Is í seo an chéad Chuairt Stáit ón mbliain 2003. Thug an tUachtarán cuairt ar thrí chathair sa tSín – Béising, Shang-hai agus Hangzhou; ina chomhluadar bhí an tAire Airgeadais, Michael Noonan, T.D., agus an tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. Is é cuspóir na cuairte an ceangal idir an dá thír i gcúrsaí polaitíochta, cultúir, gnó, eolaíochta agus oideachais a neartú tuilleadh. Tá bean chéile an Uachtaráin, Sabina Higgins, ina chomhluadar ar an gCuairt Stáit.

Chuaigh an Dr Jim Browne anonn mar chuid de thoscaireacht na Cuairte Stáit tar éis d'Oifig Idirnáisiúnta Ollscoileanna na hÉireann cuireadh a fháil ó Fhiontraíocht Éireann. Chuaigh a chomhghleacaí, an tOllamh Brian Hughes (an Déan Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta) ar an turas ina theannta.

Tá Grúpa láidir Alumni ag OÉ Gaillimh i mBéising agus céimithe de chuid na hOllscoile agus cuid de phobal na hÉireann sa tSín gníomhach ann.

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