Professor Xing Ruan has received a grant from Australia-China Council, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, to undertake a China engagement project. The project, entitled ‘Seeking Research and Education Collaborations with Selected Architecture Schools in China’ was initially proposed by Professor Mark Wainwright and the China specialist Dr Claire Roberts.

The grant will enable the faculty to bring Professor Sun Yi Ming (Dean of Architecture, the South China University of Technology (SCUT) in Guangzhou) and a senior colleague of his to Australia for a 10-day trip. Aside from hosting them at UNSW, Professor Ruan will also accompany them to visit the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland.

The grant will also enable Professor Ruan to visit, Shanghai Jiaotong University,Tianjin University and South China University of Technology to deliver lectures in September/October 2010.

The three selected Chinese universities belong to the top league. Their architectural programs are accredited by the National Board of Architectural Accreditation of China, which is a signatory of Canberra Accord. This project will give the faculty an opportunity to introduce Australia's modern and contemporary accomplishment in architectural education and practice to a wider sphere in China.

A principal aim of the project is to increase knowledge about studying architecture in Sydney. Currently, knowledge of studying architecture at UNSW and other universities in Australia is limited. For example, students are not necessarily aware that UNSW has produced a substantial number of distinguished architects and outstanding academics, and that it is a key university where one can study Jørn Utzon and the design and fabrication of the Sydney Opera House. Establishing ongoing relationships with these universities will encourage high calibre Masters and PhD students to consider studying at UNSW Built Environment.

A distinctive feature of these Chinese schools (SCUT in particular) is that professional practice is part of what they do. This collaboration presents a rare opportunity for Australian architectural academics and students to use the real-life projects as research and teaching cases.

We will keep you updated on this project as it unfolds.