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New college from international partnership

Three years of cooperative effort have paid off, with the University of Auckland today joining forces with Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) in China, to partner in a new college approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Aulin College (the name combines the first syllable of ‘Auckland’ with the first syllable of ‘Linye’ – ‘forestry’ in Chinese) will deliver courses at bachelors and masters level in Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Technology – Big Data, and Ecology. The two universities have also agreed to develop a joint PhD programme.

The first cohort of undergraduate students will enrol in Aulin College this month, taught in part by University of Auckland academic staff on NEFU’s Harbin campus, then transfer to Auckland in July 2022. Eventually, up to 1,200 students could be studying at the College.

NEFU, founded in 1952 and located in Harbin city, is the largest forestry university in China and an important institution within China’s ‘Double First-Class University Plan’. This strategic initiative aims to develop a group of elite Chinese universities and departments into world-class universities and disciplines by the end of 2050.

University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said the partnership has been in the making since 2015 and is firmly based on a reciprocated respect between Auckland and NEFU.

“China and New Zealand have a strong and mutually beneficial relationship in the tertiary education and research sectors. The University of Auckland’s first Professor of Chinese language was appointed more than 50 years ago, and such early associations and strong relationships have led to deep collaborations established over many years,” he said.

“We look forward to this joint college as the next phase of our academic relationship with China, in which we anticipate significant mutual benefits to our universities and stronger links between our two countries. This initiative will broaden the channel of global exchange for teachers and students and enhance the international development of staff.”

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