The University of New South Wales enjoys a "world class" reputation in China, and the University's quality teaching and learning model is being studied for application in China's fast growing higher education sector.

In his first visit to Australia, the Chinese director-general for Higher Education Evaluation, Liu Fengtai, and a senior Chinese Ministry of Education delegation met with UNSW academic leaders, headed by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Richard Henry.

Mr Liu said demand for university places among Chinese school leavers was so great that foreign universities - including Australian institutions - could expect a substantial increase in the number of Chinese students, despite a concurrent increase in funding for additional places at Chinese universities.

Chinese student enrolments in Australia grew by 10 percent in 2006 alone to 90,287, according to Australian government statistics, and China is Australia's largest market for international student enrolments, providing 24 percent of all enrolments.

Since the late 1990s, China has sought to meet demands for skills in its growing economy by radically scaling up higher education. Last year, tertiary student numbers hit 23 million, an almost 500 percent increase since 1998, representing the world's largest tertiary student cohort.

However, the rapid expansion has stressed the sector and Beijing's 11th five-year plan (2006-2011) on education lists "improving teaching quality" as a priority goal.

Top Chinese students are expected to continue to seek overseas degrees, some of them supported by Chinese government scholarships, allaying fears among the global higher education sector that Chinese enrolments at foreign universities could collapse with increased investment in higher education inside China.

Mr Liu's delegation discussed quality measures and strategies with UNSW leaders, especially measures of students' experiences.

"The quality of Australian education is well known in China and UNSW is a world famous university. There are many Chinese students studying at UNSW and when they come back they make a considerable contribution to China's development," Mr Liu said, after his meetings.

"With economic development in China there will be more and more students going overseas to study."

Mr Liu said he was especially interested in the feedback from UNSW students on university staff and programs and that he would be taking the UNSW quality model back to China.

"What we are learning from others we will have to combine with the situation in China... (but) we see that your experiences are adaptable to our situation," he said.