Liaison office to open in Shanghai

Queen’s looks to further partnership with China

Manager of International Projects and Initiatives Barbara Yates says the liaison office, which opens Nov. 5, is the first established in China by a Canadian post-secondary institution.
Manager of International Projects and Initiatives Barbara Yates says the liaison office, which opens Nov. 5, is the first established in China by a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Next week, Queen’s will open its China-Queen’s liaison office—a first for Canadian institutions.

John Dixon, associate vice-principal (academic and international) is in Shanghai for the office’s official opening Nov. 5.

Dixon will sign for the renewal of a longstanding exchange agreement with Fudan University in Shanghai.

Since 2000, Queen’s has had an agreement with Fudan University where students from Queen’s can study at Fudan, and students from Fudan have the opportunity to study either at Queen’s campus in Kingston or at the International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle.

“Right now there are 15 students studying in Shanghai with an equal number of students from Shanghai paired up,” said Manager of International Projects and Initiatives Barbara Yates. “The teams carry out internship projects with NGOs and local government offices in Shanghai.”

Yates said the office will facilitate co-operation between Queen’s and university and government partners in China.

“It will support exchange students and faculty as they depart to or arrive from Queen’s, as well as activities of the Shanghai branch of the Queen’s Alumni Association,” she said. “This is the first office established in China by a Canadian university for the purpose of forming and supporting links with Chinese institutions.”

Queen’s also offers exchanges to the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Yates said Queen’s targeted China to set up a liaison office because of the strong recruitment ties it holds with the country.

“China is the number one country represented in our undergrad student population for international recruiting,” she said. “It’s very important to provide support for the students coming to Canada to pursue their degree.”

Yates said because Chinese universities are seeking to partner with foreign institutions, there’s a great deal of interest in these bilateral exchange agreements.

As the liaison officer, Zhiyao Zhang will work with research on potential partners, liaise with the current partners, facilitate on the ground help for exchange students, help to expand Queen’s knowledge of the Chinese university system and look for opportunities for bilateral co-operation research initiatives and academic exchange.

“It’s important to have Dr. Zhang on the ground and able to advise us and recommend initiatives that he believes has some potential to Queen’s,” Yates said.

Yates said establishing a partnership with Chinese universities will be beneficial to Queen’s research. “These universities do very cutting-edge research in a lot of technology areas, such as science and the environment,” she said. “There is an opportunity for collaboration with people from Queen’s who are researching in the same field to do joint work.”

China-Queen’s partnerships were in action on Oct. 29 and 30 when 26 delegates from Chinese universities and the Chinese government visited Queen’s as part of a cross-Canada tour to gain a better understanding of the workings of Canadian universities.

Over the two day period, the delegates attended a series of seminars pertaining to Queen’s infrastructure, such as financial management, information technology innovation, properties and facilities management, accountability and risk management, academic and budget planning, and inter-university relations.

After their two day visit, Yates said the delegates were well-versed in the workings of Queen’s.

“They told us that they gained an understanding of the Canadian university system, the Queen’s administration, and the various faculties and schools,” she said. “They learned about the different academic programs, and they learned about policies and procedure.”

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