(St. John’s, NL; 6 Feb. 2015) Over the past few years, Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has partnered with several prestigious universities, including two of China’s most prestigious petroleum universities – China University of Petroleum-Beijing (CUPB) and China University of Petroleum East China (UPC).

China University of Petroleum East China and Memorial University signed an exchange student agreement in June 2014. Now, six students with high academic standing from the institution in Shandong Province are studying engineering on Memorial’s St. John’s campus and will remain here until this summer. The students are enrolled in undergraduate engineering courses and are participating in process and environmental engineering research projects.

Memorial engineering is also collaborating with China University of Petroleum-Beijing. Recently, Dr. Faisal Khan, head, Department of Process Engineering, and Jinghua Nie, the faculty’s international student officer, travelled to China and met with the university’s head of petroleum engineering to discuss collaborative partnerships and to sign an exchange student agreement.

Memorial’s relationship with China University of Petroleum-Beijing goes back to 2007 when Memorial delegates visited the university’s campus for the first time. To date, 17 China University of Petroleum-Beijing undergraduate students have studied at Memorial as visiting students. Many have joined thesis-based or course-based master’s programs in the faculty.

“The collaboration is a win-win success,” said Dr. Khan. “Some of the best graduate students in our oil and gas engineering graduate programs have been from CUPB. For CUPB students, it is an opportunity to study abroad and enhance their learning experiences. For Memorial students, the interaction with top students from a partner university has enabled them to work comfortably in teams with students from different backgrounds – an essential skill-set that employers are increasingly seeking from graduates.”

China University of Petroleum-Beijing student Shuting Wei studied for two semesters at Memorial as a visiting student. She was excited to return to St. John’s this past September to join the master of applied science in oil and gas engineering program.

“It’s impressive to feel the spirit of exploration and innovation here,” she said. “The culture and activities here are fascinating, and the people here are really nice and friendly.”

There are curriculum and accreditation requirements of undergraduate engineering programs and there are some limitations in terms of Memorial’s engineering students enrolling in courses at the partner institutions. However, several students have had co-operative work term experiences overseas.

“Students from Memorial, engineering or otherwise, can visit CUPB for short periods to enrich their learning experience,” said Ms. Nie. “With the new exchange student agreement, CUPB students can now secure China Scholarship Council funding to visit Memorial.”

Professor Sun, director, International Office, CUPB, hopes to take the level of co-operation between the two institutions even further.

“We would like to develop closer collaboration with Memorial in terms of joint research and faculty exchange.”

During a recent visit to the Beijing campus, Dr. Khan gave a seminar on oil and gas development in harsh environments and met with students and faculty members. While there, Dr. Khan and Ms. Nie invited funded students to come and work at Memorial.

“The successful collaboration between Memorial and CUPB provides mutual benefits,” echoed Dr. Leonard Lye, associate dean of graduate studies in the faculty, who played a key leadership role in creating the relationships. “I certainly would like to see further initiatives taken to promote the partnerships and resulting excellence in education and research at both universities.”

Delegates from China University of Petroleum-Beijing plan to visit Memorial later again this year to pursue additional partnerships and joint projects.

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