Abertay University has entered a 10-year strategic partnership with the major China-based entertainment and education company Perfect World with a view to sharing international expertise in the video games sector.
The partnership will see the University - number one in Europe for computer games courses - deliver a new e-MProf (Executive Professional Masters in Games Development) in Beijing, while also exploring a range of future academic, research and business collaborations.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon was on hand to witness the signing as part of a Scotland Is Now event from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International in Beijing today (April 9), scheduled during her current trade mission to China.
Expected to start early next year, the e-MProf aims to train 100 Chinese students every year, equipping them with the skills to succeed in the US$116bn global game development market.
The agreement is with Perfect World Education & Technology, a subsidiary of leading entertainment, gaming and creative enterprise Perfect World Investment & Holdings Group, and will include opportunities for staff exchange and joint teaching and research projects.
It extends a previous partnership agreed in 2016 which has already seen a successful joint teaching programme in Scotland and China.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University, Professor Nigel Seaton said: “The extension of this fruitful partnership between Abertay University and Perfect World opens the door to another level of collaboration, benefitting academics, students and business alike.
“Over the next ten years, we look forward to expanding this relationship, exploring together opportunities for the development of academic programmes and research in the area of computer games.
“Today’s launch of the new work-based e-MProf programme for computer games professionals in China is another key milestone for Abertay, as we seek to share the benefits of our internationally-renowned academic expertise.”
Dr Ruby Wang, Senior Vice-President of Perfect World and Chair of Perfect World Education Investment said the cooperation between the two parties was an ideal fit.
She added: “Both Perfect World and Abertay University are strong in their respective fields, have a consistent educational philosophy and complementary resources.
“Prior cooperation has established a successful model for Chinese and British game education and we hope that extending this partnership will produce more fruit in the field of game education and cultural exchanges.
“We will use this as an opportunity to promote closer exchange between China and the United Kingdom in education, talent, and culture.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "I was delighted to witness this agreement between Abertay University and Perfect World. The games industry is a growing sector and collaborations like this can only help it to develop further."
Julian Taylor, Executive Director for Asia Pacific at SDI, said: “This strategic partnership is fantastic news for both Abertay University and Perfect World and will see them work together to develop and nurture new talent to meet the demands of the international computer games industry. We look forward to seeing their relationship continue to develop over the coming years.”
Abertay has been running a MPPOP (Masters of Professional Practice in Games Development Orientation Programme) in collaboration with Perfect World since 2016, with Chinese students studying in Beijing in preparation for an MProf year at Abertay.
The innovative project created a precedent for games industry cooperation between the two nations and was undertaken with a view to cultivating high-end gaming professionals in China.
The new work-based e-MProf in Beijing will be delivered by Abertay staff, primarily remotely with scheduled visits, and, in the last term, students will join the other MProf students on campus in Dundee in order to complete their Masters.
Abertay’s undergraduate computer games degrees were ranked best in Europe by the Princeton Review for a fourth consecutive year in March 2018, with postgraduate courses rated among the best dozen in the world.
Main picture: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Elaine Russell (Abertay International Manager), Abertay Principal Professor Nigel Seaton, Ken Fee (Abertay games lecturer), Dr Ruby Wang (Chair, Perfect World Education), Kai Hu (Vice-General Manager, Perfect World Education), Fei Wu (Program Manager, Perfect World Education), Dr Robert H. Xiao, CEO Perfect World)