Chinese Collaboration Gives Students Eastern Experience

Left to Right: NUI Galway’s Dr Xinmin Zhan, PEP Coordinator and Lecturer; Kathleen O’Connell, Placement Officer, Career Development Centre; Dr Mark Healy, Lecturer; and Colm Foy and Mike O’Donnell, two of the Civil Engineering students who travelled to the Shenzhen Graduate School of Tsinghua University, China in April.
Apr 15 2013 Posted: 09:46 IST

Two third-year NUI Galway Civil Engineering students have departed for a three-month work experience in China which was organised as part of their overall degree. The students will be hosted by Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, China where they will work on wastewater treatment projects.

The Professional Experience Programme (PEP) is an integral module of a number of NUI Galway undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes, offering students each year an opportunity to avail of work experience relevant to their programme of study. Students gain a practical appreciation of the needs and the method of operation of business and industry, and are given an opportunity to develop additional skills relevant in the workplace. 

Dr Piaras Ó hEachteirn, Head of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, said:The professional experience is an example of work-based learning and the engineering placement experience will improve the employability of the participating students, with over 96% of Civil Engineering students securing a successful industrial placement in the past three years despite the economic downturn period. This experience not only benefits students in gaining work experience, but also benefits NUI Galway in long-term international collaborations with Chinese institutes since Tsinghua University is among the top two universities in China.”  

Dr Xinmin Zhan, PEP Co-ordinator for NUI Galway’s Civil Engineering programme, established this link between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University and the placement is run in conjunction with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. Dr Zhan, who is also funded by Tsinghua Global Scholars Fellowship Initiative to conduct collaborative research, believes that working in Shenzhen will shape the students’ careers through work in different cultures. 

Tsinghua University was ranked 52nd in the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings and 31st in the subject of Engineering and Technology.   


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