Friday, 21 December 2018 02:55

VIDEOS: Huawei graduates record 29 Aussie students in 2018's 'Seeds for the Future' program

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Twenty-nine Australian university students have graduated from Huawei's three-week Chinese cultural, business and IT experience program, Seeds for the Future, the biggest group of Aussies yet.

A global initiative, Huawei's Seeds for the Future program started in 2008, is implemented in 96 countries, and has provided more than 30,000 top students from 280 universities worldwide the opportunity to learn about China, its people, culture, strengths, Huawei's technologies and more.

Back in November, Huawei Australia announced that it had selected 29 undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) students to take part in the 2018 program, which concluded earlier this month, starting in Beijing and ending in Shenzhen, China.

As was the case during in Huawei Australia's 2016 Seeds for the Future program, and the 2017 program last year, I was invited to attend to meet and interview some of the students, to witness the graduation ceremony and see the program's undeniably impressive growth and results.

Below you'll find an interview with four of this year's crop of students, along with the hour-long graduation ceremony (which also included a separate delegation of students from Finland) and a 31 second time-lapse of the same ceremony.

After that is further information on Huawei, the program, the full list of 2018 student participants, the Australian Technology Network of Universities and the Australian Federal Government's "New Colombo Plan" that, who and which, in combination, fund the Australian program and make it possible.

Here is the video interview:

4 Aussie uni students at Huawei's 2018 Seeds for the Future

Four Australian university students from the 29 Australians from six top Australian Universities participating in 2018 spoke about themselves, their experiences, learnings and thoughts on the Seeds for the Future program.

From left to right we have Michael Bishop, UniSA, Alexandra Tran, QUT, Cristina Fidelino UTS and Bradley Denney, RMIT.

Here is the full video of the Australia and Finland 2018 'Seeds for the Future' Graduation Ceremony:

Here is the 31 second Time-lapse of the Australia and Finland 2018 'Seeds for the Future' Graduation Ceremony:

Now, it has to be said that Huawei has been in the news all year, not just for its technological innovations such as its P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro smartphones, which have challenged all ultra-premium competitors with some startlingly great features and benefits, but also because of its battles with the US, Australian and other governments over telco network, 5G, sub-sea cables, security concerns and more.

My colleague Sam Varghese has written yet another excellent article covering these issues earlier this week, which is very well written and extensively linked to 10 other stories on various aspects of the topic, half to relevant articles Sam has previously written, and the other links to relevant articles at the Washington Post, Ars Technica, Tom's Hardware, The Guardian and Slashdot.

However, as Lisa Connors, the manager of Huawei Australia's Seeds for the Future Program, said in a quote from my November article: "Next year marks our 15-year anniversary in Australia. While there have been some incorrect things said about our company recently, the great thing about this program is that it is a real investment in Australia’s ICT future.

"The benefits for Australia are long term having better educated, better engaged and shaped globally aware students who will go on to become leaders in our industry.

"Huawei is extremely proud to be involved in helping facilitate this knowledge transfer which will leave a long lasting legacy," Connors concluded.

So, whatever your views, this aspect of Huawei Australia and Huawei in 96 countries is a great way for top students around the world to learn about Huawei, China and its language, culture, food, growth, technologies, R&D and manufacturing, and it's something you don't see other tech companies around the world doing in their own countries for a selection of global uni students, which perhaps they should!

The program has been running in Australia since 2013, and including the 2018 crop of 29 students, has now provided over 100 Australian undergraduates with the opportunity to learn about China and to experience what Huawei says is its dynamic global business.

The company also tells us: "Through funding from the Australian Government and ATN members, the Seeds for the Future initiative is recognised as a valuable investment in cultivating young Australian talent in the STEM industry. The program is in its fifth year in Australia and is growing in momentum."

For those wanting a refresher, Huawei's description of the program is: "Huawei’s Seeds for the Future fosters local Information & Communications Technology (ICT) talent, promotes interest in the telecommunications sector and encourages a greater understanding of the people and opportunities within Australia’s largest trading partner, China".

It's an immersive program that gives the students the opportunity to "participate in a wide range of Chinese cultural and business experiences over the course from learning Mandarin at the Beijing Language and Cultural University, to visiting The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China".

"Students then visit Huawei’s Shenzhen Headquarters for product and services training with Huawei’s industry leaders."

As noted in my November article, Huawei Australia chief executive George Huang thanked the Australian Government for its continued support of the Seeds for the Future program and stressed the importance of industry collaboration with universities.

He said: “Each year Huawei brings together young people from around the world to participate in the Seeds for the Future program.

“Industry training and education is vital to ensure Australia’s next generation of ICT professionals are well prepared to contribute to our industry when they enter the workforce.

“Exposure to Huawei’s world-leading research and development environment will help the students to understand the commitment and focus required to continually move the industry forward.”

Here's the list of 2018 Huawei Seeds for the Future participants:

NSW

Reezvy Ali – University of Technology Sydney
Joseph Cerdan – University of Technology Sydney
Adrienne Fidelino – University of Technology Sydney
Lorna Hennessy – University of Technology Sydney
Cassandra Phoon – University of Technology Sydney

Queensland

Michael Barbera – Queensland University of Technology
Steven Bickley – Queensland University of Technology
Michael O'Brien – Queensland University of Technology
Kenneth Cheung – Queensland University of Technology
Jake Smith – Queensland University of Technology
Alexandra Tran – Queensland University of Technology
Yuval Bernstein – James Cook University
Timothy Coulter – James Cook University
Connor Fitzsimmons – James Cook University
Jason Owens – James Cook University
Elijah Thomas – James Cook University

South Australia

Michael Bishop – University of South Australia
Riley Bowen – University of South Australia
Nicole Carter – University of South Australia
Jordan Comley – University of South Australia
Vanshika Kapoor – University of South Australia
Akash Saini – University of South Australia

Victoria

Stephanie Batten – RMIT University
Bradley Denney – RMIT University
Claire Taylor-Cuthbertson – RMIT University

Western Australia

Munsif Khan – Curtin University
Ryan Pyrc – Curtin University
Alexander Rose– Curtin University
Mia Walters – Curtin University

More information on the Seeds for the Future: China Experience program can be found at Huawei’s global website here, with Huawei's Australian Seeds for the Future website here.

Here's some additional info about the Australian Technology Network of Universities and the New Colombo Plan:

"The Australian Technology Network brings together four of the most innovative and enterprising universities in the nation: Curtin University, RMIT University, University of South Australia (UniSA) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

"The ATN is committed to forging partnerships with industry and government to deliver practical results through focused research. It educates graduates who are ready to enter their chosen profession, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and eager to claim a stake in building sustainable societies of the future.

"ATN universities teach over 220,000 students, or almost 20% of Australia’s student population. With nearly 1 in 4 international students choosing to study at an ATN university, the ATN is also the largest provider of international education, both with its onshore and offshore students.

"The ATN’s aim is to help secure Australia’s reputation as the clever country, and contribute to its social and economic wealth, while championing the principles of access and equity that have ensured its members are the universities of first choice for more students."

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – New Colombo Plan

"The New Colombo Plan a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

"The New Colombo Plan involves a scholarship program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants program for both short and longer- term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research."

The author travelled to the graduation ceremony of the 2018 Seeds for the Future program in Shenzhen, China, as a guest of Huawei Australia.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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