University College Dublin has further increased its interest in China by establishing a new Institute of Health Science and Innovation in Shenzhen University during the summer. UCD previously opened the Beijing-Dublin International College which was the result of an agreement between UCD and Beijing University of Technology.

“The agreement between University College Dublin and Shenzhen University (SZU) to establish a new International College in Health Sciences Innovation is the result of a long and complex process. It required multiple stages of agreement and approval on both sides. Ultimately, generic the agreement will help to promote and encourage cultural understanding between Chinese and Irish students and staff, cure and also contribute to the growing positive relations between the two countries, cialis ” said a spokesperson for UCD.

Another campus development in the coastal city of Yantai is expected to be established once talks are completed over the coming months between the China Agricultural University and the Yantai Municipal Government. The Yantai campus will primarily focus on agricultural science, food science, life sciences and bioengineering.

Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has previously praised UCD’s increasing foothold in China by stating at the opening ceremony of the Beijing-Dublin International College that “the establishment of Beijing-Dublin International College is a concrete example of UCD’s internationalisation agenda, and indeed of the wider interconnectedness between Ireland’s higher education system and leading education institutions globally.”

UCD President Hugh Brady spoke of “the enthusiastic support we received from both the Irish Government and the Chinese authorities.”

China is a country where human rights abuses and suppression of academic freedom have been recorded. In December 2012 Professor Wang Peijian from China Jiliang University in Hangzhou had his classes cancelled and was later forced by his university to enter a psychiatric facility after talking to his students about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

In China “an estimated 500,000 people are currently enduring punitive detention without charge or trial, and millions are unable to access the legal system to seek redress for their grievances,” according to Amnesty International. There are also reports of the surveillance, house arrest, and imprisonment of human rights defenders whilst internet and media censorship has also increased.

Last year the executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’ Gorman, stated that “China is the world’s number one executioner. It is crucial that institutions like University College Dublin use their influence in their contacts with the Chinese government to raise the concerns of many Irish people about China’s appalling human rights record. Academics and students in China have gone to prison for speaking out about human rights abuses. UCD should be a voice for them.”