BC-China ed­u­ca­tion ties deepen both ways

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By HATTY LIU in Van­cou­ver For China Daily

The gov­ern­ments of China and Bri­tish Columbia are work­ing to de­velop more sus­tained and con­tin­u­ous ties in in­ter­na­tional higher ed­u­ca­tion through Cana­dian stu­dents study­ing abroad in China, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

At a June 29 re­cep­tion to hon­our Chi­nese gov­ern­ment schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ents and BC stu­dents study­ing in China — the first of its kind ever hosted by the Chi­nese con­sulate in Van­cou­ver — Con­sul Gen­eral Liu Fei ex­pressed his hopes that BC stu­dents bound for China in the com­ing year would “jour­ney 10,000 miles, read 10,000 books and ce­ment 10,000 friend­ships.”

At the same time, she hoped that stu­dents who re­cently re­turned to BC from China would not for­get to main­tain their con­nec­tions with China and act as friend­ship am­bas­sadors be­tween the two coun­tries.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is another link in the long­stand­ing his­tor­i­cal ties be­tween BC and China,” Liu said.

The con­sulate re­cep­tion was in­tended to be a plat­form for stu­dents leav­ing for China to net­work with those re­turn­ing, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for them to share com­mon in­ter­ests, Liu said.

Emem-Obong Lu­cia Inyang, a stu­dent who will be leav­ing for China in the fall, told China Daily that she en­joyed the chance to talk with stu­dents just back from China.

“I get to see there are other peo­ple also do­ing what I’m do­ing, and get an idea of what China is like and what to ex­pect,” she said.

At the event, the BC In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil for Ed­u­ca­tion (BCICE) an­nounced that it will be col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Chi­nese con­sulate and the BC Min­istry of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion to cre­ate the BC Stud­ies in China Alumni Net­work, a vir­tual net­work on LinkedIn that will help alumni con­nect with new in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

Yu Changxue, ed­u­ca­tion con­sul of the Chi­nese con­sulate, told China Daily that the alumni net­work would not only “re­in­force the con­nec­tions be­tween China and Canada, but also pro­vide tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits for stu­dents in terms of ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties or foster col­lab­o­ra­tion or entrepreneurship be­tween peo­ple who might study in dif­fer­ent fields, but share a com­mon in­ter­est in China.”

Each year, 15 stu­dents study­ing at BC in­sti­tu­tions re­ceive Chi­nese gov­ern­ment schol­ar­ships, which cover their tu­ition and ex­penses while abroad and are ap­pli­ca­ble at 279 top Chi­nese in­sti­tu­tions.

This year’s schol­ar­ship win­ners at the re­cep­tion heard about the ex­pe­ri­ences of past win­ners, in­clud­ing Cyndi McLeod, for­mer vice-pres­i­dent of global ad­vance­ment at Royal Roads Univer­sity.

Ac­cord­ing to the con­sulate, there are 3,271 Cana­dian higher ed­u­ca­tion stu­dents study­ing in China.

In April, An­drew Wilkin­son, BC min­is­ter of ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tion, went on an ed­u­ca­tion mis­sion to China ac­com­pa­nied by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the BCICE, Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia, Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity, BC In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Lan­gara Col­lege.

Dur­ing the mis­sion, the BC gov­ern­ment an­nounced $130,000 in schol­ar­ship fund­ing to sup­port stu­dents at these col­leges and univer­si­ties to study at Chi­nese in­sti­tu­tions.

Liu Fei

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