China's First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan

Honorary doctorate for China’s First Lady

Click here to for an Chinese translation of this article - 点击此处这篇文章的中国翻译。

Madame Peng Liyuan, First Lady to the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, will be conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Massey University on Thursday at a special ceremony at the Wellington campus.

Madame Peng, an accomplished musician, renowned soprano, opera performer and Professor of Music, will receive her doctorate during a tour of the University's College of Creative Arts that coincides with the official visit to New Zealand of President Xi.

University Chancellor Chris Kelly, who will lead the ceremony, says the honorary degree is in recognition of Madame Peng’s international contributions to the performing arts and health and education programmes. She is the current United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation special envoy for the advancement of girls’ and women’s education and, in 2011, was appointed a World Health Organisation Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says Massey University has a longstanding and strong relationship with China. It was the first New Zealand university to be visited by the president of a Chinese university, the first to sign a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese university, the first to sign a "tripartite" partnership with leading Chinese universities and it currently has close to 1800 students from China and about 70 active agreements and collaborations with Chinese university and government agency partners.

Madame Peng is an Adjunct Professor of Peking University, which Massey University has an academic agreement with through the tripartite agreement. Her academic record began in 1978 when she enrolled in the Shandong Arts Institute. In 1981 she was accepted into the prestigious China Conservatory of Music, where she completed a diploma, bachelor and master's qualification in ethnic vocal music.

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