The establishment of a joint research program between two universities from Australia and China

Year: 1996

Author: Wing, Cheung, Winser, Bill, Guizhen, Wang, Luomai, Xu

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper describes the establishment of a joint research program with researchers in universities in Australia (an Education Faculty, at Wollongong) and China (an English Dept, at Guangzhou). It examines some of the issues involved in establishing collaborative research.

Some socio-cultural matters that became salient included aspects of inter-cultural communication involving bilingual skills, historically embedded attitudes to scholarly work, and a number of systemic elements in the partners' educational contexts. These latter include: varying perceptions of process and outcome, of the role of the teacher, and of preferred learning activities and classroom interaction types.

The joint research projects were generated from the research agendas of both universities, which are necessarily affected by wider cultural issues, such as: the value placed on education by parents in China, the single child policy, the emergence of private schools, and China's Open Door policy for attracting investment, with increasing emphasis on learning English. The collaborators in this program have identified a number of key components of the relationship that are proving to be essential elements in pulling faculty members together and enabling them to face the challenges of working productively.