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Students, businesses and education in sync in China

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An old Chinese proverb translates roughly to "walking 10,000 miles is better than reading 10,000 books", which means, in Kiwiana, do an OE if you want to find out about the world.

For Lincoln University Master of Management in Agribusiness student, Nathan Sheppard, that is exactly what he has chosen to do.

Nathan is in China for two months, with support from the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia, as well as from Lincoln University and local enterprises, such as NZX Agri, New Zealand College of Business (NZCB), and others.

"We encourage students and businesses to take the opportunity to immerse themselves into the markets that they are selling New Zealand products and services to, in order to understand and solve challenges from the cultural perspective of their consumers and clients," Lincoln’s Business Development Manager Dr Samuel Yu says.

"It is great to see students, like Nathan, receiving help from Government initiatives and from our commercial partners and getting a real appreciation of the enormity and complexities of large economies-of-scale markets," Dr Yu adds.

Nathan has spent the first part of his trip researching and interviewing local and international dairy companies, including China’s largest dairy food manufacturer, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Company Ltd (Yili Dairy).

He also visited goat milk producer, Shandong Yamuba Dairy Co Ltd.

"These types of opportunities are only possible and enabled from special collaborations that are developed with businesses and industry that we are involved in," Dr Yu says.

An important MoU was signed last year with Yili in front of Chinese President Xi Jinping and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. It included establishing a research and development presence at Lincoln.

Nathan also visited Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE) in Kunming city for a five-week Chinese cultural program.

To prepare he received Chinese language lessons from YUFE students studying at NZCB in Christchurch on the NZCB-Lincoln pathway towards masters degrees.

"This is the type of collaborative ecosystem that we are trying to build-up for overseas students and Kiwi students. It is great to see that they can learn from each other by sharing cultural experiences," NZCB director, Jason Ho says.

Yunnan province is a region where Lincoln staff have been working with a variety of institutions, such as YUFE, Yunnan Agricultural University, Yunnan Normal University, Southwest Forestry University, Yunnan University and Qujing Normal University in Agribusiness and Commerce projects.

The institutions are part of a network able to send their talented students on the special NZCB-Lincoln collaborative pathway (the ‘3+1+1’ pathway), enabling students with a three year bachelor-equivalent qualification to get specific subject up-skilling for one year with NZCB (L7 Diploma in Business Administration), and then move into Lincoln’s one-year masters degrees.

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