Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University and Australia’s University of Adelaide will introduce a dual masters degree in winemaking and viticulture from 2019 to meet the increasing demand for qualify winemaking courses in China.
The new two-and-a-half year course will involve the students spending the first 12 months in Shanghai, the second year in Adelaide and the final six months back in China working in a winery or vineyard while completing a research project supervised by staff from University of Adelaide and Jiao Tong University.
The first intake of the course will initially be capped at 10 students but the number will grow in time in line with the university’s capacity.
The University of Adelaide is one of the world’s respected institution for oenology studies and is on the doorstep of leading wine regions of Barossa and McLaren Vale.
In the current academic year, of the 294 places in the university’s winemaking courses, 115 are taken by Chinese students. This represented 39 per cent of all enrollments across its four-year Bachelor degree in Viticulture and Oenology as well as a postgraduate diploma and masters courses.
Program Coordinator Associate Professor Chris Ford, who is also Interim Head of the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, said the new course would provide graduates with the ideal preparation for a career in China’s growing domestic wine industry.
For students from Australia, they would have the chance to do their placement in China and graduate with a Masters Degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University as well as the University of Adelaide.
China overtook the United States to become the biggest buyer of Australian wine in 2016. Exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) increased by 51 per cent for the year to March 2018 to reach AUD 1.04 billion.
Despite the huge size of the imported wine market in China, about 80 per cent of the wine consumed there is produced domestically. The demand for well trained viticulturists and oenologists is high.
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)