A visionary scholarship endowment created to provide experiences for Chinese and Australian students to study abroad has given over a hundred students the chance to immerse themselves in new cultures and new ways of learning.
In just a few short years since the program launched in 2014, the Dr Chau Chak Wing Scholarship program is already bringing to life the lessons of the classroom for students of all disciplines, including law, engineering, business, design and architecture.
The Dr Chau Scholarship allowed me to develop strong communication and inter personal skills in a challenging and dynamic environment.
“The scholarship trip really opened my eyes in experiencing what life is about. Technology is a really broad field, and can impact anywhere – seeing its applications within China blew my mind,” says Bachelor of Information Technology student Fadila Fidina.
The endowment, established through a $5 million gift from Chinese-Australian business leader Dr Chau Chak Wing, has been designed to foster lifelong relationships between China and Australia by providing students with financial assistance to study overseas and broaden their educational experiences. Uniquely, the program provides opportunities for both Chinese students to study at UTS, and for Australian students enrolled at UTS to study in China.
Students at UTS are able to undertake short-term study programs in China while participating in the university’s BUiLD leadership program, and postgraduate students are able to immerse themselves in a semester’s study at a university in China.
“The course I attended at Shanghai University included more than just language and business. The scholarship program introduced me to new people, places, culture and a way of life. It might sound like a cliché, but for me, this was a once- in-a-lifetime trip,” says Bachelor of Design in Architecture student Wenshu Stephanie Qiao.
“The Dr Chau Scholarship allowed me to develop strong communication and interpersonal skills in a challenging and dynamic environment. Being in the heart of Shanghai threw me into the deep end! The program gave me an understanding of life and business culture in China, as well as a taste for the language and customs – I’m considering options to learn Mandarin at a professional level and work in China in the future,” says Bachelor of Advanced Science student Hugo Franich.
Similarly, students from UTS’s partner universities in China, including Shanghai University and the Beijing Institute of Technology, have found the experience of studying in Australia equally inspiring.
“UTS has enabled me to challenge myself creatively and conceptually, and I am inspired by the well-equipped facilities and advanced design strategies that are taught,” says Master of Architecture student Zihe Lu of her semester in Sydney. “I feel a passion and sense of satisfaction about studying architecture that I never felt before.”
As an endowed scholarship, the program has been established in perpetuity, ensuring many thousands of students in the years to come will have the same life-changing opportunities for international study and cultural exchange.
Dr Chau’s gift to establish the scholarship program, which was also accompanied by a further $20 million gift supporting the construction of the UTS Business School, was borne of his desire to foster stronger ties between Australia and China.
It is hoped that as the community of Dr Chau Scholars grows, these students will apply what they have learned. By pursuing stronger ties and greater bilateral collaboration between the two nations, the possibilities in research, business, and innovation are even greater.
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