Trinity Provost and President, Dr Patrick Prendergast, visited one of China’s top universities, Peking University(PKU) for discussions on a research collaboration on ageing. It formed part of the Irish Government mission to China and he was joined by the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education and Skills, Mary Doyle for the talks.
China’s ageing population is changing rapidly. Over the past 27 years it has doubled from 7% to 14%.
Trinity Provost & President, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Ageing is a global challenge and finding solutions requires innovation and collaboration across national boundaries. Trinity leads The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and together with PKU we can share our research and experience to our mutual benefit and global significance.”
TILDA is part of a global family of 14 national longitudinal studies on ageing. They include China, US, Brazil, India, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.
China is one of highest international users of the data gathered by TILDA, accounting for over 8% of total global usage.
It is planned that TILDA will collaborate with the Centre for Healthy Ageing and Family Studies at PKU. Trinity is also a leading university in geriatric medicine and age-related health care. It is therefore well placed internationally to lead on education and training in this area.
The collaboration will build on other research and student mobility agreements Trinity has with the top university. Trinity postgraduate students currently on an exchange programme with Peking University put on a showcase during the visit.
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton said: “It is important to acknowledge Trinity’s strategic engagement in China especially in the context of the just launched international education strategy. Such collaborations are important developments in promoting partnerships with China. They foster a deep engagement with China which is vital for our students. Trinity as a world class educational institution continues to attract students of the highest calibre.”
During the course of the Irish Government mission to China, the Provost gave a speech on “Innovation and entrepreneurship and the role of the university” at Schwarzman College, Tshingua University.
The Provost also visited the “Water Cube” National Aquatic Centre in Beijing which was made possible by research at Trinity led by physicist, Emeritus Professor Denis Weaire. The award winning design of the iridescent bubble wrapped box structure combines molecular science, architecture and phenomenology.
Dr Prendergast said it was the most publicly recognisable example of the impact of Irish research and innovation in China.