Athlone IT links up with top Chinese university


6 Feb 2003

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The Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) has signed a co-operative agreement in the area of software engineering with Southeast University (SEU), one of China’s top ten universities.

SEU has a dedicated College of Software Engineering funded by the Chinese government. AIT has a special affinity with China as there are currently about 100 Chinese students with the institute. The agreement was concluded after a series of visits by senior representatives of both institutions to China and Athlone in 2002.

Scheduled to begin at the start of the 2003 academic year, a number of activities have been agreed by both institutions including the posting, by SEU, of a member of academic staff to AIT and the implementation by AIT of arrangements to facilitate SEU students in AIT’s academic process.

AIT will also send one member of academic staff per annum from the Department of Software Engineering to give lectures in SEU.

The benefits to SEU include the completion by some of their students of their last-year work placement in AIT where they could
undertake project work for the Department of Software Engineering or, where possible, with one or two local companies.

The agreement would give AIT postgraduate students the opportunity of teaching experience, through English, in SEU and an exchange degree programme for students at various levels.

Announcing details of the agreement, the director of AIT, professor Ciaran O’Cathain, said that its implementation would bring many benefits to both institutions.

“SEU is one of the top ten universities in China and as a consequence AIT staff and students will benefit greatly from their expertise. Furthermore, SEU students will find in AIT an institution already well tailored towards the cultural and educational needs of the Chinese and capable of adding considerable value to their studies,” he said.

An extension of the agreement to cover other disciplines is
not ruled out by either institution.

By Brian Skelly

Pictured: (from left) Professor Ciaran O’Cathain, director Athlone IT, Professor Tao Yun, director of the International Office, SEU, and professor Gu Guanqun, president of SEU