The University of Sydney was planning to open a brand new research and education hub in Suzhou. The goal of this was to greatly improve the exchange and collaboration of intellectual ideas and learning between Australia and China.
What the university needed to partner this ambitious project was a Chinese-facing website detailing the exchange centre and its parent university, offering staff introductions, promoting upcoming events and providing help and support for approximately 40,000 Chinese alumni.
They turned to us for assistance and guidance with this project and we were more than happy to offer our technological and creative expertise in this situation.
History and integrity of the University of Sydney
The University of Sydney, or USyd, was Australia’s first university and was founded in 1850. In 2017 the university was ranked in 26th position of the best learning institutions in the world which also put them in the top 0.25% of universities. Graduates are rated the most employable in Australia and at number 4 in the rest of the world.
The prestigious university has educated six Australian prime ministers and a host of justices and chief justices.
The university is as aesthetically pleasing as it is academically achieving and was ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most beautiful universities by The Daily Telegraph.
It boasts 16 faculties and schools and had 32,939 undergraduate students and 16,627 graduate students in 2011.
Cementing an international presence
Prior to the decision to open the Suzhou hub, the University of Sydney already had a fairly solid relationship with China, having been the first Australian university to offer places to Chinese students in 1979 and now having approximately 12,000 Chinese students currently on campus.
The main aims of the project were to strengthen joint China-Australia research efforts; offer Australian students the possibility of Chinese internships and placements; improve industry collaboration; host seminars; enable joint venture teaching initiatives; and to promote the university to a wider audience throughout Asia.
Specific requirements for a website
The University of Sydney needed their website to be Chinese-facing, and appealing to a Chinese audience. But at the same time, required a high quality western design, and had some very specific requirements to accompany the new academic project:
- Firstly they needed a website for the Suzhou centre which encompassed their identity and had a content management system which was easy to use.
- Secondly the site had to be accessible and user-friendly on all platforms: PC, smartphone and tablet.
- And lastly they required website hosting, support, maintenance and future infrastructure upgrades.
Collaborating with the experts to achieve their vision
The University of Sydney approached us for help in creating their website for this project. We know that no-one knows their own audience better than themselves, so we worked closely with the university throughout, taking note of their needs and expectations whilst offering our expert local knowledge along the way.
At Eggplant we know what it takes to create a successful and fully operational website for the Chinese market and we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to collaborate with them on such an important project, knowing that we could deliver the end product to suit their needs.
By combining Western design with Chinese knowledge we . Our knowledge of China ensures we can deliver a better, more workable product than developers based outside of the region.
Using local know-how to deliver
When it came to hosting for the website we used Aliyun, a cloud-based hosting service which is very popular in China and is the country’s best way of ensuring a reliable, fast-working site. We also used a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which leads to high performance on the site. The website maintenance service we provide ensures any future updating of the website will be carried out including any new information which needs to be added.
Managing the deadline
We knew from the start that the Suzhou hub was scheduled to open in November in 2016 and that the website needed to be completed well in advance of that date. Through cooperation with USyd and our developers’ tireless work ethic we achieved this well within the allotted time frame.
A fantastic finished product
Many companies and institutions find brand identity to be of extreme importance and the University of Sydney is no different in this respect.
Take a look at their Suzhou hub website and then take a look at the original university website. You’ll notice that the layout is identical. This means that users of one site who use the other will witness the similarity and feel instantly familiar and comfortable with it.
It’s easy to navigate and extremely user-friendly and ticks all the boxes which were required for the project.
The University of Sydney themselves were thrilled with the result.
Helping the University of Sydney’s achievement
The Suzhou centre was opened in November 2016 and has been an academic success. The project is aimed to further strengthen relations between Australia and China, both for learning and economically, and early signs are that it is positive, from a student’s perspective and from the point of view of those with an international vision, including scientists and researchers.
The project is hopefully the first in a series of educational partnerships between the two countries. There are currently 35 centres of Australian studies in China, but the University of Sydney are the first institution with a physical presence in the country.
At Eggplant we are very pleased to be a part of this long-term vision and were delighted to help create the website the University of Sydney desired.
Many Western businesses and institutions are expanding globally and a lot of these are looking at the Asian market, specifically China. Various solutions are needed if you want to properly target a Chinese audience.
Can we help you in China?
At Eggplant we know the market well, and combine local Chinese language and culture knowledge with cutting edge design to help you succeed in China.
If you need a website for the Chinese market you should contact us immediately to arrange a consultation to discuss the specific needs of you or your business.