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Laurier’s China office celebrates fifth anniversary as universities renew commitment
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Laurier marked the fifth anniversary of the opening of its China office at Chongqing University (CQU) by renewing its agreement of cooperation with CQU, while also strengthening its ties with other post-secondary institutions in the country.
Max Blouw, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor, was in China in late October to mark the anniversary of Laurier’s China office and meet with CQU President Lin Jianhua.
“The relationship between our universities is a growing one, and it will become deeper, wider and stronger over the coming years with ever more activity to tie our interests in partnership,” said Blouw. “This is important to both countries, and the future will be one of many steady steps to forge ever more productive relationships between our universities, our cities, our companies, and our countries.”
In 2007, Laurier was the first Canadian university to establish an office in mainland China. Over the last five years, more than 200 students, faculty and staff from Laurier have participated in projects and activities coordinated by the office in Chongqing. These projects involve supply chain management, entrepreneurship, finance, journalism, executive training, ethnic relations , social work, education and student/faculty exchanges.
During the visit to China, Blouw also met with President Zhang Weiguo of Southwest University in Chongqing to renew the cooperation agreement between the two post-secondary institutions for another five years. The two universities will cooperate in the areas of water science, education, and student/faculty exchanges.
In addition to the agreements signed in Chongqing, Blouw, Peter Donahue, director of Laurier International, and James Martin, vice-chair of the Board of Governors, visited Beijing to sign an agreement with Francis Pang for greater cooperation between Laurier the schools of Concord College of Sino-Canada and The Canadian International School in Beijing, Shenzen and Wuhu.
Pang, who received an honorary degree from Laurier in 2010, opened the school in 1994 with the support of New Brunswick’s education department. It is a cooperative Canadian-Chinese high school offering students both a Chinese and New Brunswick high school diploma. Laurier students from the Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Education, and the School of Business & Economics have undertaken work placements and delivered workshops at the school.
During the trip, Blouw also had discussions with officials at the Music College of Minzu University.
“The visit to China was fruitful and will lead to us strengthening ties between the two countries in a number of ways,” says Donahue.
Laurier’s future plans at CQU include launching new opportunities for student internships and faculty visiting-scholar programs in Chongqing as part of Laurier’s Global Engagement Initiative.
CQU President Lin Jianhua and a delegation of senior leaders and professors from CQU plan to visit Laurier Feb. 4, 2013 to begin working on the cooperation between the schools.