Benefits of transnational link

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 October, 2010, 12:00am

The University of Canberra is giving Hong Kong students the chance to complete a world-class degree without having to leave home.

In partnership with Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), the transnational programme allows students to study via HKBU to receive a University of Canberra (UC) degree, covering the same material as they would in Canberra.

UC's deputy director of transnational and training Karyn Ward says it is a chance for students to complete an exciting and internationalised course.

'Our degrees are recognised and respected internationally - students graduate with a University of Canberra award,' Ward says. 'Together, we are producing graduates with strong theory and practice in the professions - our graduates are among the most employable in Australia.'

The degrees on offer include the bachelor of public relations, bachelor of commerce (accounting) and bachelor of commerce (business management).

Ward describes the partnership with HKBU, that began last year, as 'the joining of one capital city university with another'.

'Both partners have extensive experience in the delivery of transnational education programmes; our delivery is tested over many years in many countries - and it works well, our courses are competitively priced, you receive an internationally recognised degree from one of Australia's leading universities, and we are student focused.'

The next programme at HKBU is the master of educational leadership (early childhood) in January next year. UC continues to negotiate with HKBU on other courses.

The transnational bachelor of public relations degree has been available since late last year. UC public relations convenor Jim Mahoney says it provides an opportunity for Hong Kong professionals to gain an Australian-accredited public relations qualification.

'The University of Canberra's bachelor of public relations degree is designed to develop leadership qualities and strategic thinking in its graduates,' Mahoney says.

'We're pleased that in Australia, shortly after graduating, many of our graduates have become managers and strategic communication planners in private industry, consultancies, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies. That's the aim for our Hong Kong graduates.'

Mahoney says the Hong Kong programme delivers the same subject matter as the degree programme in Canberra, but with a local twist.

'The only exception is an exciting new course written specially for Hong Kong students: public relations in a Chinese context.

'This course recognises the need for public relations practitioners working on the mainland to understand different professional practice approaches. This is important as Hong Kong has become a major bridge for professional communicators working in China. Developing this perspective in our Hong Kong students provides a significant professional advantage.'

The public relations degree is accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Australia, which Mahoney says is an important professional recognition not only for the material it covers, but of the professional standards that the degree builds.

UC delivers the degrees at HKBU through a mix of face-to-face and online learning.

UC has had a long-standing teaching presence throughout Asia and more than 10 years in Hong Kong. To consolidate the transnational education partnerships, the university chose to partner with HKBU, specifically working through their School of Continuing Education.