A visiting Chinese scholar is finding life at the EIT Hawke’s Bay campus quite a change from her normal academic life, and is thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Yang Xue has found startling the lack of people and noise, the smallness of class sizes and the close relationships students have with their lecturers. The clean air, blue skies, panoramic views and closeness to nature also impress her.
For the last year, EIT lecturers have been travelling to teach wine science to university students in China and, in return, hosting Chinese scholars at the Hawke’s Bay campus to gain first-hand experience of New Zealand, our wine, and teaching methods.
Yang Xue has been co-teaching with the Kiwi contingent for the past two semesters, delivering a Bachelor of Brewing Engineering programme at Qi Lu University of Technology (QLUT) in Shandong Province. Her expertise is in botany and plant physiology but she co-teaches across most of the EIT delivered subjects.
She came to Hawke’s Bay in August this year and has been sitting in on Bachelor of Wine Science lectures and field trips with a student’s perspective. She is particularly impressed at the small classes; in China there are around 70 students in a class compared to smaller numbers at EIT.
Now she says her English has improved and her understanding of NZ teaching methods, “which are quite different”, has been very helpful.
“I think my co-teaching will be so much more useful for my students. I can relate to New Zealand winemaking and viticulture. I will be able to explain things so much better. I now know and understand so much more.”
QLUT and EIT signed a Heads of Agreement in August 2017 to deliver a joint Bachelor of Brewing Engineering programme at QLUT.
This agreement came out of the relationship the Hastings District Council established with its Chinese counterparts and took four years of discussions between the tertiary providers. The programme was approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2015.
EIT lecturers teach 11 subjects in block courses over three semesters, covering aspects of wine science and viticulture. Teaching started in August in 2017 and the last intake will finish in December 2022.
Being in Napier, Yang Xue is able to assist the six QLUT students at the EIT campus who have transferred for a semester; one is studying wine science while the others are studying English to be able to begin their Bachelor of Wine Science EIT study in 2019.
“It’s been good to be here to help them, and give them someone to talk to easily. All the QLUT students here are doing really well in the EIT courses and I feel very proud of that.”