Representatives of Austrade Prague at the University of Pardubice – an opportunity for convergence with Australia in research and education

On Wednesday 2 November the representatives of the Czech branch of the Australian government agency Austrade, Ing. Petr Vodvářka and Ing. Jan Brejcha, visited the University of Pardubice to introduce new possibilities of cooperation with Australian tertiary education institutions and research companies. As Australia`s special interest in mutual cooperation lies in the scientific and technical field, their lecture was attended by students and employees of three faculties  - Jan Perner Transport Faculty, Faculty of chemical technology, and Faculty of electrotechnics and informatics.
The presentation took place in the meeting room of the dean of the Faculty of chemical technology, and it was divided into two parts. The first one started at 10 o`clock, and it was intended for academics and students of doctoral study programmes. At first, the lecture described the course and results of the Czech mission to Australia which was carried out  in June during the Czech-Australian technological days held in Melbourne. This event was aimed at research, development, and innovations in the field of the automotive industry. Australia has been planning to invest a substantial amount of money to revive this industry in their country, and the Czech Republic is among the technological elite in this branch. This allowed the Czech delegation (consisting of representatives of the Czechinvest agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Austrade, and members of Czech research sphere) lay very good foundations for cooperation on various levels. This news was received with great satisfaction. The lecture then continued with introduction of Australian research potential and possibilities of cooperation with Czech universities in general. Finally, specific areas of mutual interest with the University of Pardubice were outlined.
After a short lunch break the second part of the presentation followed. Its purpose was to inform Czech university students about their possible opportunities to study in Australia. Students of all ages and study programmes were invited to attend. And a large number of them came. To give them a more detailed idea about Australia, Ing. Vodvářka started his presentation with general information about the country`s history, geography, nature, inhabitants, and the state of its economy. It was obvious that many of the listeners had fallen in love with Australia way before they were introduced to its education system. Australia has almost 200 tertiary education institutions with 190 000 students from 85 countries in the world. It has 39 universities, six of which placed in the top fifty in Times Top 200 World Universities chart. That itself undoubtedly proves the high level of education there. Ing. Vodvářka familiarized the participants with scholarschip programmes, career opportunities, and also discussed visas and similar formal obligations. To round off, in a relaxed atmosphere, he answered all curious questions.
The communication with Austrade Prague is currently in progress. Let`s hope we laid the best foundation for our cooperation with the antipodes.