Speaking from the launch of the centre at the Irish Embassy in Beijing last week, UCD President Andrew Deeks, said the centre is a “very significant milestone in the global strategy of UCD”, and that UCD intends to make itself one of the top 10 universities in the world for global engagement.
“We hope that as the success builds with the UCD Global Network, that we would then have centres in other regions as well”
Hosting the most international students of any university in Ireland, UCD currently enrols 6,000 students from overseas – 600 of which are from China.
The China Global Centre is the fourth centre joining locations in New York, Kuala Lumpur and Delhi to form UCD’s Global Network.
Speaking with The PIE News, Deeks said: “The UCD Global Network will allow us to engage very strategically with each of these key regions, and we hope that as the success builds with these, that we would then have centres in other regions as well.”
The centre, which is employing two permanent members of staff, will allow students to call a local number for information about visas, coming to UCD and accommodation services without having to wait for the eight hour time lag.
It will also provide help for students studying in collaborative programmes. UCD already has a number of partnerships with Chinese universities, including Peking University, Renmin University of China, and Fudang University in Shanghai.
“For some of the activity we want to do, it will be easier to be in the same time zone to make certain contacts,” said Jeremy Simpson, vice principal of international for the UCD College of Science.
“Particularly for logistical things such as paper work, rather than having that eight hour difference. So I think initially it will provide a mechanism to much easily facilitate the interactions that we’ve already established but that we want to grow a little bit more.”