A Unique International Leadership Program

May 13 / 109

Two University PhD students joined peers from around the world at the Group of Eight’s (G08) Student Leadership Program in China.

The program  focuses on strengthening university partnerships and encouraging student mobility.

Sarah Comyn, a PhD candidate in English Literature and Prue Addison a PhD Candidate from the School of Botany spent two weeks in China in April visiting various universities, including some of the University’s partner organisations.

Ms Comyn visited four universities as part of the program: Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in Harbin and finally Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.

“My colleagues and I were continually astounded by the generosity of our hosts in welcoming us,” she said.

“A common theme that emerged from all our visits was the massive investment in science and technology – the facilities available to engineering students, in particular, are incredible.

“At HIT, for example, a brief tour of their mechanical and civil engineering laboratories revealed a massive wind-tunnel (apparently the largest in China) where students were testing the structural integrity of buildings, some intriguing robots built by undergraduates and an amazing collection of rockets and satellites in the astronautics [space navigation] museum.”

Ms Comyn said highlights of her trip included playing ping-pong against a robot at Zhejiang University and winning, visiting the “breathtakingly beautiful” Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou and meeting a Chinese master’s student at Zhejiang university who is also writing about Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

“I am very grateful to the Go8 and DIISRTE for this unique opportunity to explore the study opportunities available in China and I’m especially grateful to Professor Dick Strugnell (MSGR), Nigel Cossar and Joran Monteiro (Global Mobility) for their ongoing support and advice to Prue and I before and during our trip,” she said.

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