Canadian alums of China get together
20 at the official mansion of the consul general of China in Toronto.
“As you can see, there are so many alumni from China,” said Xu Yawei, China’s education consul in Toronto. “This is a great opportunity to set up an association to track and engage them all.”
The gathering marked the launch of the Canadian Chinese Alumni Association (CCAA). David Wood, academic director of OJS, Christine Keene of OCAD University, William Cantangui of York University and Shannon Power of Ryerson University have all volunteered to help in the formation of CCAA.
“Through the CCAA, we want to provide a platform for people to share their experiences and information,” said Wood. “We are looking to build and strengthen the relationship between Canada and China in the field of education.”
Power said: “I will stay involved with people who might be in China or hope to go there, to help them learn about future opportunities. I myself am interested in going back to China to work on my master’s.”
According to Xue Bing, the Chinese consul general in Toronto, there are currently nearly 3,000 Canadian students on Chinese campuses. By 2020, China will be hosting the most foreign students of any country in Asia.
At the gathering, Xue shared three anecdotes about Canadians and education in China.
In 1962, prior to the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between Canada and China, Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai hosted professor Claude Bissell, former president of the University of Toronto, who later praised the potential of China’s education system in Western media.
Xue also talked about Canadian Mark Rowswell, whose Chinese name is Dashan. Called “the most famous foreigner in China”, Roswell has been a China media personality and cultural ambassador for more than 25 years.
Last but not least, Xue mentioned professor Pietro Giordan of York University, a graduate of Peking University, where he found not only academic success but his beautiful wife.
“I hope you all have fruitful experiences and fulfill your dreams as well,” Xue said.
Members of the newly established Canadian Chinese Alumni Association gather at the official residence of the consul general of China in Toronto on Aug 20. James Higginson, graduate student who has studied in China