Chinese now make up nearly half of Aussie university’s oenology places

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese now make up nearly half of Aussie university’s oenology places

Related tags Wine

One Australian university has seen an almost three-fold increase in Chinese enrolments in its winemaking courses over the past five years.

Adelaide University’s four-year Bachelor degree in oenology is regarded as among the most comprehensive of its kind in Australia. It also offers a postgraduate diplomas and Master’s courses. 

Of the 280 students across the three courses, 114 are from—compared to just 44 who enrolled in 2013.

That’s a significant change in five years​,” said Paul Grbin, of the university’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. 

Our numbers have grown overall as well, so we are not getting fewer international students from our traditional markets, such as America, Canada, South Africa, South America and a few Europeans​.” 

Australia is the fifth largest wine-producing nation, making close to 1.3bn litres, compared to China’s sixth position with 1.15bn litres, according to the Organisation of Vine and Wine. 

Despite China’s huge imported wine market, about 80% of the wine consumed there is produced domestically. 

Dr Grbin added: “There’s definitely a sense when I talk to the students that there’s excitement around the development of the industry in China, and there are plenty of good opportunities for them when they graduate to work—not only in China but in the international wine trade​.”

Postgraduate student Huiyi Hu came to Adelaide to gain more practical winemaking experience. 

She said: “I studied winemaking for four years in China from 2010 but I didn't learn how to make real wine​.

Here I make my wine in a winery and solve any problems with group discussions, rather than just following instructions​.” 

The university has revealed plans to expand its teaching and research winery to cater for growing demand. 

Chinese students accounted for almost 40% of the 32,000 international students who studied in Adelaide in 2015. 

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