Australia powers in to help train talent

Shanghai University of Electric Power signed an agreement with Curtin University to train talented English-speaking individuals on electric power.
Australia powers in to help train talent
Ti Gong

Deborah Terry, vice chancellor with Curtin University and Li Hexing, president of Shanghai University of Electric Power, shake hands after the signing of a memorandum of understanding to enhance joint education and research projects.

Shanghai will cooperate with Australian universities to train English-speaking talent on electric power to facilitate China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The Shanghai University of Electric Power signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday with Curtin University in Western Australia during the Electric Forum of Shanghai in Yangpu District.

Officials from Australia's Notre Dame University and Edith Cowan University also negotiated with other local universities, including the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and Shanghai Polytechnic University, on joint training schemes, especially with regard to electric power majors.

China needs more foreign language-speaking professionals on electric power, as a result of domestic power suppliers investing and signing contracts for projects with Belt and Road nations according to the national strategy, said Li Hexing, president of Shanghai University of Electric Power.

To help to meet demand, the local university will send its students and faculty to study in Australia to enhance their language ability as well as professional skills.  Scientific engineering professors from Australia will also be invited to teach at local classes.

About 7,300 Chinese students studied abroad in Western Australia in 2016 for university, vocational, English language and professional studies, Suzanne Ellery, Western Australia's minister for education and training, told Shanghai Daily at the sideline of the forum.

She led a delegation of 40 officials from Western Australian universities, training institutes and colleges to Shanghai to build better collaboration.

"We want more joint research opportunities and encourage more students to study in Western Australia," Ellery said.

Many of the graduates from Shanghai University of Electric Power have been sent to Indonesia, Cambodia, Pakistan and other Belt and Road nations to help to operate and manage power projects set up by Chinese companies.

The university has also trained over 60 government officials and electric company staff from countries including Nepal, Poland, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Thailand.

The university recruited over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate students from these nations, most of whom have been working as core employees for China-invested electric power projects in their countries, according to the university.

To expand such training sessions, the university has taken a lead to establish an International Academic Forum for the Development of Electric Power Technologies with 10 global electric power universities from countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Russia.

Furthermore, the university has also set up a Sino-Portuguese cultural exchange center to train professionals for Portuguese-speaking nations.

China's State Grid as well as the state-owned Power Construction and Datang corporations, for instance, have invested in electric power projects in Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique and Angola.

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