The new dual Master’s degree offered students the opportunity to study both a Master of Economics at the University of Sydney and a Master of World Economy (Globalisation and Chinese Economy) from Fudan University.
William Huang was part of the first cohort to enrol in the dual degree, excited to take on the newly created course. “Fudan is a highly respected, renowned institution in China. As soon as I saw the opportunity, I jumped on it. I saw it as something that I shouldn’t have passed up.”
Students in the dual degree spend one year at the University of Sydney, undergoing rigorous analytical training and developing their communication skills in the Master of Economics.
“I believe that the Master of Economics program at the University of Sydney put an emphasis on ensuring the practicality and employability of our skills,” William said. “We were encouraged to develop our ability to present economic concepts and theories to individuals who may not have any formal training in economics. I think that is so crucial, especially in today’s job market.”
In the second year, students’ study at Fudan University, taking units on China’s national policy, financial system and completing a master’s thesis. The dual degree typically offers students an international experience of studying and living in Shanghai, exploring the thriving metropolis, and immersion into Chinese culture.
“We were encouraged to develop our ability to present economic concepts and theories to individuals who may not have any formal training in economics. I think that is so crucial, especially in today’s job market.”
While COVID-19 travel restrictions meant William moved to remote learning in Australia, his study experience with Fudan University was incredibly positive. “Despite having classes online, we were still able to engage in deep meaningful discussions about current issues,” he said. “All our professors made a point about discussing current issues and even incorporated it into the coursework which made it all the more interesting.”
William also found the pairing of the two degrees to be useful. “I’ve already utilised so much of what I have learnt at the University of Sydney in my thesis dissertation at Fudan. So many of the practical methods, such as econometric modelling came in handy. At Fudan we were very much kept up to date with contemporary developments,” William continued. “The combination of the two provides a unique and robust insight into the culmination of studies and current events.”
A highlight class for William was a core unit on Chinese Economy which reflected the high-quality teaching he experienced across his course. “Typically, I’ve found core classes to be the least enjoyable,” William admitted.
“But one of my professors was absolutely wonderful - I think her class had to be one of my favourites in all my time as a student. We had amazing opportunities to receive instruction from professors who were very well informed, but also very well connected, and at times it made me feel as if I was a part of the story.”
William was also able to have an international experience, forming friendships with students from across the globe. “I have found all of the students at Fudan, both local and international to be very friendly and helpful. It’s such a wonderful, tightly knit community and Fudan provides plenty of student support services. I think I’ve already made friends for life, even though it was all online!”
In addition to the global connections, William believes the most important part of the program is the unique perspective students gain from the dual degree. Even though William had travelled to China from a young age with his family – and as a Cantonese and Mandarin speaker – there was still a lot to learn from the cultural exchange. “As someone from Australia I had certain preconceptions about China which have totally changed. Even I have had my understanding of China elevated greatly.”
All economists are aware of China’s role in the global economy. Anyone who wishes to make sense of the 21st century must also understand China.
The partnership between the University of Sydney and Fudan University recognises the significance of China to Australia’s socio-economic future. Through learning about Chinese culture, their economy, financial system, and how Chinese society functions, graduates are uniquely positioned to understand the context of Sino-Australian economic relations.
“I strongly believe that all upcoming economists who genuinely want to learn more about and have a better understanding of China should take this program,” William said. “All economists are aware of China’s role in the global economy. Anyone who wishes to make sense of the 21st century must also understand China.”
While it may not have been the study experience he imagined, William would not hesitate to recommend the dual degree to others. “Apply! Just do it! You won’t have any regrets and you have nothing to lose. The only thing you need to bring is a desire to learn about China and an open mind.”
The dual degree program can be completed full time over two years, with the first year in Sydney’s Master of Economics and the second year with Fudan.