China visit opens doors to expanded partnerships
When John Dixon assumed leadership of the international portfolio at Queen’s in 2000, the university was in the midst of finalizing its first institutional agreement with a university in mainland China. Twelve years later, Queen’s focused efforts in China have resulted in expanded student exchange opportunities, research collaborations, and agreements with government ministries in China.
“It’s important that Queen’s engages in a meaningful and substantial way with China, the fastest growing economy in the world,” says Dr. Dixon, who retires from his role as Vice-Provost (International) this summer. “We have made huge strides over the last decade through our China Liaison Office and our strategic partnership with Fudan University. Universities in China are much more receptive to working with us and, increasingly, exchange and degree-seeking students view Queen’s as a potential place to study.”
The recent delegation visit to China led by Principal Daniel Woolf served to solidify relationships and advance opportunities for new agreements. This visit was the first by a Queen’s principal since William Leggett travelled to the country in 2000. In addition to Principal Woolf and Dr. Dixon, the delegation included Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), Bruce Stanley, Executive Director, Bader International Study Centre (BISC), Zhiyao Zhang, Queen’s China Liaison Officer, and Jonathan Kong, a Department of Advancement representative.
The visit opened a number of possible higher-level partnerships with Chinese institutions. Some of the highlights include:
• Progress toward formal university-level agreements with Peking and Tsinghua universities, the top two post-secondary institutions in China, and the highly-regarded Renmin University
• Discussions with Fudan University to expand collaborative activities in new spheres such as research in medicine and the health sciences
• Signing a memorandum of understanding with China Executive Leadership Academy in Pudong (CELAP) to explore the possibility of Queen’s faculty offering lectures and participating in training courses for bureaucrats and administrators in Chinese municipalities, local government and enterprises
• Preliminary talks with China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) about the possibility of students they recruit completing one year at CFAU and then three years at Queen’s to earn a Queen’s degree.
During the visit, the delegation showcased the Bader International Study Centre and highlighted its new programming initiatives. Furthermore, receptions in Shanghai and Beijing, the latter attended by the Canadian ambassador to China David Mulroney, allowed Queen’s to connect with alumni as well prospective students.
Principal Woolf recently posted a blog entry about the visit to China.