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EIT partnership with Chinese University delivering results

May 20, 2022

Zhaohui (Hayes) Wang is one of four students to have graduated at the end of last year with a double degree from EIT and Qilu University of Technology in China (QLUT).

A partnership between EIT and Qilu University of Technology (QLUT) has seen international viticulture and wine science students get snapped up in the industry for the busy 2022 vintage.

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.

A Joint Education Programme (JEP)  was approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2015.  The first cohort of students was recruited in Sept 2015. In 2017, QLUT and EIT signed a Heads of Agreement to deliver a joint Bachelor of Brewing Engineering at the university in Jinan, Shandong Province, which has involved EIT staff travelling and teaching in China.

Once students graduate with the Bachelor of Brewing Engineering in China, they are eligible to travel to New Zealand and with a further two years of study at EIT’s Hawke’s Bay Campus in Taradale they can complete a double degree; QLUT Bachelor of Brewing Engineering (Wine) and EIT’s Bachelor of Wine Science.  

Zhaohui (Hayes) Wang, who is from Shandong Province in China, was one of four students to graduate at the end of last year.

“Studying at EIT has enabled me to understand the various equipment used in a winery; how the equipment works, how it’s installed and how it’s used. This has helped me to work in the industry and understand each stage of vintage. I also learned the process and operation of brewing.”

“When I heard about the partnership QLUT had with EIT, I was very interested in it. I really wanted to have the opportunity to go abroad and learn about different lives and cultures, so that’s why I decided to come to New Zealand and study at EIT.”

He says everyone at EIT was very accommodating and went above and beyond to not only ensure he understood the teachings but was settling into life in New Zealand.

The practical aspect of the courses and the different experiments was of particular interest for Hayes.  

“Because Hawke’s Bay is a very important wine growing region, it is a unique place for a student studying winemaking. There are many opportunities to visit different wineries and vineyards. EIT often organises such activities, which taught me a lot.”

After graduating, Hayes worked as a Cellar Hand at Delegat Wine Estate in Twyford, Hawke’s Bay, where he had previously gained experience as a student.

Hayes recently returned to his home province where he hopes to have a look at Chinese wineries and how they work.

“In the future, I hope to be able to travel around the world. I don’t know what will happen in ten years, but I hope I still love winemaking.”

He believes other people should take up the opportunity to study at EIT.

“I was very happy at EIT and have a lot of good memories. I made many friends, who came from different countries with different backgrounds. The learning process was not easy, but the teachers helped me a lot and I am very grateful.

“If you plan to study at EIT, enjoy your time at school. It will be a very unforgettable memory.”

Sue Blackmore, Head of EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science, says it is a win-win for all parties.

“The relationship with QLUT is very beneficial to both sides with very friendly and collaborative relationships with the QLUT staff.”

Pre Covid-19, eleven EIT staff travelled to China for periods of 2-4 weeks of intensive teaching throughout the year. For the past two years, teaching has been done online from Napier into China.

Three students will graduate in July next year. Sue says they are looking forward to welcoming more students next year with travel restrictions lifting.

“Our staff are looking forward to returning as China travel is seen as adding variety and depth to their work experiences. The students who come over culturally enrich the learning environment at EIT.”

QLUT International Partnership Marketing Manager Richard Cao says on average 80 Chinese students enrol in this joint education programme in Jinan every year.

Some graduates have gone on to postgraduate study at universities in New Zealand and other countries. While others have started working in the New Zealand wine industry or gone back to their own countries and taken up similar roles in this industry.

Going forward, they hope to build industry links between the two countries via both institutions, and potentially look at joint education programmes at masters level with the recently added EIT Wine Business and Innovation Masters degree.