Building links with China

If you were offered a two-week tour of China as part of your study what would your answer be? For six lucky Central Building and Construction students the response was a resounding ‘yes’.

In recent times, China has become an economic powerhouse. Its rapid expansion has lead to massive development and diversity in construction and infrastructure. Great news if you’re a Central Building and Construction student.

Central has delivered courses in China for ten years and continues to expand its portfolio.

In June this year, Building and Construction Lecturer Maxine Plowright led the group of students through several cities in China as part of the AsiaBound Grants Program.

The aim of the tour was not only to explore Chinese architecture and culture, but to encourage interaction and build relationships between Central and two Chinese institutes – Jinhua Polytechnic and Jiangsu College of Engineering and Technology.

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The tour began in Jinhua (in the Zhejiang Province), before exploring Shanghai and Jiangsu (in the Nantong Province). Stella Bu, Central’s representative in China guided the students with support from students from the two institutes.

During the diverse and eye opening tour, Central students explored a broad range of architectural styles in China including Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Classicism and Renaissance.

In addition to learning about the diverse range of architecture in China, students learnt about Chinese culture, including calligraphy, woodcarving, and most importantly, how to make the perfect dumpling.

Central remains committed to seeking international experience for our students.  The broadening of opportunities, coupled with the exposure to new skills, is an invaluable learning curve for students before they embark on their subsequent careers.


2 thoughts on “Building links with China”

  1. “… China has become an economic powerhouse …” That warrants closer comment and inspection. the greater part of the Chinese economy still consists of state-owned enterprises or the military-industrial complex run by the army itself. Objective figures are hard to come by. there are wind turbines that are built and ready, but they are nowhere connected to the grid. Cities for millions of people are finished but empty. Most economic reporting is fraudulent and as is customary with communist regimes, production, not sales are reported, even if that production then rusts in some yard and is later scrapped. So this giant may rest on feet of clay.


  2. Hey Darragh, that’s sure some sweeping generalisation there! And like all generalisations, while it does contain some elements of the truth, it is so broad-brush that it ignores the mainstream economy and culture that is China. You see, just like in countries at the moment such as Australia, the UK, Brasil, Vietnam, Russia, Israel, etc., in China there is also a wide disconnect between the tub-thumping ideologues of the central government and the people. And of course in China there are plenty of people, and most want to get ahead. Walk the streets of any city, town, or village and you see that the backbone of commerce is the multitude of small businesses (no military or state involvement there) and the mainstays of culture are history and family. And all that is anchored in education. There is an enthusiasm and positivism amongst young people that leaves Australian students disappointingly far behind.

    And while the Chinese know their “official” system they are not subdued by it. Can I recount two conversations with young people there during my very recent visit there (the 3rd in two and a half years)? One was with a mid-20s teacher friend who has her life mapped out (including more international travel), and when she marries her fiancé, plans to have two children regardless of any government punishment. And the second was with a tour guide of about the same age who spoke openly about the events of 04 June 1989 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing – just because the state media doesn’t report things, doesn’t mean that the people don’t know.

    One of China’s biggest economic problems at the moment is the decreasing employment prospects of recent university and college graduates. So for sure, standby for yet more changes – either way China is going to be big part of Australia’s future and we do our students a grave disservice by not engaging that country, regardless of our we perceive it.


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