The growing relationship between the University of Aberdeen and the developing higher education sector took centre stage this weekend during celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of one of China’s up-and-coming universities.
The Southwest Petroleum University of China marked fifty years of producing graduates in petroleum engineering and other related disciplines with a high-profile celebration attended by senior representatives of the oil and gas industry in China, including the chief executive of the Chinese office of French oil company Total, and the chief executives of the four biggest oil companies in China.
Professor Dominic Houlihan, Vice-principal for Research and Commercialisation at the University of Aberdeen, was invited to speak as the representative of the party of international guests from the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan and Europe.
Addressing an audience of 5,000 guests, Professor Houlihan expressed his honour at being asked to speak on behalf of the foreign visitors, saying:
"During the past 50 years, the Southwest Petroleum University has continuously produced top experts in the oil and gas industry in China and is now one of the top institutes for research and innovation within the industry in the southwest of China.
"At the same time, the Southwest Petroleum University has built up successful international links in both research and teaching with many world-class institutions in more than ten countries, including my home, the University of Aberdeen.
"With the current research and development trend aimed strongly at internationalisation – and with the proven quality of this institution - we trust that the Southwest Petroleum University will continue to play an important role worldwide.
"On behalf of your guests, I thank you for inviting us to attend this celebration of your 50th birthday, and we look forward to your continuing success and the mutual benefits of our growing relationship."
During his visit Dominic Houlihan also gave presentations to students about the University of Aberdeen, and met with the directors of the Southwest Petroleum University's international affairs department to discuss further developing collaborations in research and teaching.