New partnership delivers Wellington courses to students in China

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington has partnered with the Communications University of Zhejiang (CUZ) to give Chinese students access to Wellington’s world-class scholars in humanities research, learning, and teaching.

Students from CUZ in the Chinese city of Hangzhou—home also to e-commerce giant Alibaba—will be taught online by staff from the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences from September this year as part of an undergraduate degree joint programme majoring in Intercultural Communication.

This partnership is a significant milestone for the Faculty, which is now ranked first in New Zealand and 72nd equal in the world for Arts and Humanities by QS World University Rankings.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says this is one example of Te Herenga Waka’s transnational pivot, which is building the University’s capability to deliver Wellington courses and degrees to offshore students, alongside trusted international partners who can augment the online learning with face-to-face teaching and student pastoral care.

“In addition, building deeper and more direct connections with overseas institutions will increase the University’s visibility and viability, including with international research funders, international academics and industry,” says Professor Guilford.

“Partnerships such as these create a pathway to Wellington for students wishing to complete their undergraduate degree on campus or to enrol in more advanced study such as Master’s programmes.”

Other transnational initiatives will enable the University to graduate students with full Wellington degrees offshore.

The University is optimistic that the CUZ students who start their studies in Hangzhou in September this year will be able to finish their studies in Wellington in 2024.

“We look forward to welcoming students and University leaders from CUZ to Wellington as early as possible, when the borders have reopened,” says Professor Guilford.

Rebecca Needham, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement), says these students will make an important contribution to the University and to Wellington once it is possible for them to study on campus in the capital.

“International students help to increase cultural awareness and enrich the community by contributing a diverse range of opinions, insight and knowledge. The graduates will also take new perspectives, ideas and networks with them on return to their home country, as well as play a role as ambassadors for both the University and Wellington.”

CUZ President, Professor Xu Xiaozhou, is delighted with the partnership between Wellington and CUZ to jointly deliver this programme.

“The fact that CUZ was the only university in the Zhejiang Province approved in 2020 by the Ministry of Education in China to deliver a joint programme attests to the unique value of the programme and of our partner, Wellington.

“We firmly believe that this partnership has the potential to make a unique contribution to the talent pool of media and communications professionals in Hangzhou and more widely in China.

“Intercultural communication capabilities in the workforce have never been more needed than they are now.”