Beijing, Dublin college link-up approved


THE CHINESE ministry for education has given its approval to the joint venture between University College Dublin and Beijing University of Technology to establish the Beijing-Dublin International College in the Chinese capital this month.

The approval is the final step required for official recognition of degrees in China and means graduates will be awarded both UCD and Chinese qualifications.

UCD first proposed the joint venture following the twinning of Dublin and Beijing in July 2011. The plan to establish an international college in China received enthusiastic support from the influential mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong, and was endorsed by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn when the two met during the mayor’s subsequent visit to Dublin.

Initial degree programmes will include software engineering and a programme based on electronic engineering, internet-enabled sensor and communications technologies.

Prof Alan Keenan of UCD, who heads up the project, said from Beijing yesterday: “We expect to grow to about 3,000 students and intend to offer further programmes in science, engineering, management, business and the humanities.”

The Beijing-Dublin International College will also serve as a study-abroad location for UCD students seeking to expand their knowledge of the Chinese language, culture and economy, and will provide supports for academics, businesses and other organisations interested in educational, research and trade links with China.

About 20 per cent (5,000) of the UCD student population is international and drawn from more than 100 countries. The university accounts for about 30 per cent of all full degree international students in higher education in Ireland. The university already has a presence in a number of countries, with more than 4,000 students taking UCD degrees in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka.