Inner Mongolia Normal University (IMNU) and the University of Western Sydney (WSU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on academic cooperation at a signing ceremony held at IMNU on March 17, in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
According to the MOU, the two universities will carry out a "2+2" dual cooperation program to train undergraduates studying English translation and interpreting. Students will study for two years at IMNU and another two years at WSU to complete their studies and obtain a bachelor's degree.
Meanwhile, they will also develop cooperation programs for postgraduate students majoring in translation and interpreting, as well as TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). This is the first time IMNU has cooperated with a foreign university to jointly train students studying foreign language majors. This will improve the training quality of the university's foreign language students, especially those studying English majors.
Also, the two sides will conduct research and cooperation in other related sectors, including cooperation between IMNU's Australia Research Centre and WSU's Chinese Art and Cultural Research Institute; holding academic activities together, and arranging teachers to do research and lecture as part of exchange programs.
At the signing ceremony, Professor Yun Guohong, president of IMNU delivered a speech and expressed his welcome to the delegation of WSU, including Barney Glover, the university's president.
"IMNU has maintained a good relationship with colleges and institutions in many countries, including in places such as Australia, Mongolia and Russia," Yun said.
"I hope we will work together to build a platform to jointly train teachers and students from both sides and conduct scientific research," he said.
"I hope we will collaborate to make great contributions to education and deepen the friendship between our two countries," he added.
"IMNU is very highly-regarded and already has an existing relationship with some Australian universities," said Barney Glover, in an interview with China Daily.
"This is an opportunity for us to have a connection with Inner Mongolia and we are glad to have this opportunity to establish a strong relationship with a very good university," said Glover.
"We are very pleased to develop joint programs and collaborate with IMNU, particularly in areas like interpreting and translation, which is an area where we have great strengths. There's a good synergy between the two universities," he said.
WSU, founded in 1989, is situated in the western part of Sydney, and consists of seven campuses and nine schools. It is one the biggest universities in Australia. The university's key specialties include business administration, real estate investment and translation.
The most famous school in WSU is the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, which offers a series of translation majors. China's renowned Xi'an Jiaotong University has also maintained close links with WSU.
There are currently 44,000 students studying at the university, of which 4,800 are international students from 130 different countries. In the past, WSU has cooperated with more than 50 universities and education institutions from more than 20 countries.
For many years, WSU has offered translation and interpretation courses, including at undergraduate and postgraduate-level. The programs have been authorized by the Australia National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
It attaches great importance to a combination of translation theory and practice. The university often invites famous translation experts and scholars to give lectures to students to improve their translation abilities. Lectures often focus on topics such as conference interpretation, translation skills, literature translation and simultaneous translation.
Courses provided by the university include linguistics, translation skills, legal translation, and interpretation. Nearly 80 percent of students pass the NAATI exams and hence, the university is a renowned center for training talented linguists.