The delegation, which is on a week-long mission to Shanghai, includes Cork Chamber members and one of the strongest teams ever assembled by an Irish university.
University College Cork (UCC) has sent 17 people, led by Professor Paul Giller, registrar and senior vice-president for academic affairs, representing 15 academic and research departments. They will hold a number of meetings with senior government officials, Chinese university presidents, senior managers and business figures over the coming days.
One will involve senior UCC managers and their counterparts at Henan University of Finance and Economics (HUFE), which together with UCC, is seeking to establish a joint international college at Zhengzhou.
The UCC/HUFE application is being considered by the Ministry of Education in Beijing.
There are 300 Chinese students studying in UCC and college president, Dr Michael Murphy, said China is an increasingly important market for UCC.
“This delegation brings together the most comprehensive visiting team ever assembled by an Irish university and reflects UCC’s steadily strengthening links with the education sector in China,” he said.
“The intensive round of discussions and presentations will take the university’s relationship with sister institutions in China to the next level.”
Cork was twinned with Shanghai in 2005 and Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said tomorrow’s “Cork Day” at Expo 2010 provides an unrivalled opportunity to build business opportunities and partnerships in culture, education and research.
“With a population of over 20 million people, Shanghai presents huge opportunities to further develop trade and economic relations,” he said.
Orla Flynn, acting head of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design said the institute, which already has links with Universities in Shanghai, Dalian, Wuhan and Jingzhou, hopes to establish connections with the College of Fine Art at the University of Shanghai.
She said CIT ultimately hopes to bring the work of renowned glass artist Prof XiaoWei Zhuang and his students to exhibit in the CCAD’s new exhibition space at Wandesford Quay Gallery.
Meanwhile, Minister for Trade and Commerce Billy Kelleher is leading 30 Irish firms on a week-long trade mission to Russia.
The firms are from a range of sectors including engineering, construction, food and drink, education and business services.
Half are in the information communications technology and services sectors.