The Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

10 July 2017

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with UQ student Daniel Ward in Dalian, China.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met students from The University of Queensland in Dalian, China when he was visiting for the World Economic Forum’s ‘Summer Davos’ event early this month.

With funding from the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, the 20 students from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) are spending four weeks at Dalian Neusoft University of Information (DNUI), receiving training and practical experience in initiating innovative IT products, and working directly with leading global companies.

UQ electrical and computer engineering student, Daniel Ward had the chance to shake the hand of China’s second most powerful figure in Dalian, as the Premier was whisked through the Chinese university, followed by hundreds of locals eager to get a glimpse of the celebrity figure.

“As Chinese authorities tend to keep the Premier's location secret for security purposes, we did not know he would be visiting until we had come to class that day and passed through security to get into the building,” said Mr Ward.

“DNUI was very happy because it was the only university Premier Li chose to visit while in town for the World Economic Forum.”

Premier Li was named the ‘World's 12th Most Powerful Person’ by Forbes in 2015 and 2016. 

Throughout their stay, Mr Ward and his fellow students will be guided and mentored by IT professionals and entrepreneurs, thanks to UQ's partnership with multinational Chinese information technology services provider, Neusoft. 

“The course is business and engineering-oriented and very similar to a startup accelerator,” said Mr Ward.

“We are developing a business idea into a functional prototype, with a business plan and we’re also learning business skills such as elevator pitches, brainstorming activities and demographic profiling.

Mr Ward explained that it was not just work work work for the students while in China.

“There is also a cultural immersion aspect to our course – we’re learning some Chinese reading, writing and speaking; experiencing the culture with activities like traditional tea ceremonies and, of course, testing out the amazing authentic Chinese food.

“Not only are these really interesting experiences, but they’re also valuable in preparing us for any future Asia-business interactions that we may encounter during our careers.”

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT) Executive Dean, Professor Simon Biggs said the mobility program was another step towards reaching UQ’s student strategy goals.

“We aim to provide our students with experiences that make their time with us inspiring and transformative, and this program certainly does that,” said Professor Biggs.

“These IT students will go on to be game-changing graduates, and we are proud to play a role in fostering their success.”

The Australian Government's New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program supports high-achieving Australian undergraduate students to study and work in the Indo-Pacific region.

The School of ITEE offers undergraduate programs in information technology and multimedia design, as well as electrical engineering within the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). For more information, visit www.itee.uq.edu.au and click on ‘Future Students’.