In May 2018, the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law signed a collaboration agreement with Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics – China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR-ZUFE).
The agreement made possible the delivery of AUT's Master of Applied Finance (MAF China) in Hangzhou, China, with academics from AUT's Finance Department and CAFR-ZUFE.
Although the global pandemic delayed the start of the programme by more than a year, the first cohort of students began the 12-month-long degree in July 2020.
Thanks to the dedication, commitment and resilience of everyone involved, 10 students gained their postgraduate qualification (two others from the cohort are still completing their study).
The achievement was recently celebrated via an online graduation ceremony that comprised staff and students Zooming in from Auckland, and various cities in China.
Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the BEL Faculty, Professor Kate Kearins, acknowledged the challenges and rewards of undertaking and completing a trans-global degree in our current world.
“International perspectives and connections are critical in business today – and no more so than when we, as a global population, come together to support solutions to global problems like the pandemic,” she said.
BEL Deputy Dean and Associate Dean International and Engagement, Professor Alireza Tourani Rad, originally conceived of the programme. He noted it is unique in that students gain the AUT degree while studying the entire programme in China.
The initiative was made possible by close and fruitful collaboration between the two universities.
“I would like to acknowledge my AUT Business School colleagues in the Department of Finance and in the Professional Masters Office, as well as our Director of International Marketing and Recruitment. I also extend my thanks to the team at AUT International House, who went out of their way on a number of occasions to organise the GIE English tests,” said Alireza.
As evidence of the ever-strengthening partnership between AUT Business School and CAFR-ZUFE the second cohort, comprising more than 20 students, began its programme of study in February; the third cohort will start in November.