UBC President Arvind Gupta announced plans on Tuesday to visit China in early April to deepen the university’s commitment to developing partnerships with China that encompass research, teaching and student learning. The trip is Gupta’s first to China since being installed as president in September of 2014, and it will build on a relationship that dates back to 1914 when UBC welcomed its first Chinese students.
“Creating reciprocal international engagement opportunities for UBC students, faculty, researchers and alumni with China is an important part of UBC’s strategic plan,” said Gupta. “The visit to China will expand the university’s role as a gateway to this vibrant academic, economic and cultural hub of the world.”
“Promoting research collaborations – particularly in the fields of medicine, food and nutrition, and public policy – will be an important component of this trip, generating long-lasting value for all academic institutions involved,” said John Hepburn, Vice-President Research and International.
In addition, UBC will explore joint degree opportunities, student mobility and internship agreements, and meet with senior Chinese government officials on initiatives that align with Canadian and British Columbian government missions.
The April trip will take place over eight days, from April 2-10, and include stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hangzhou. Gupta plans to visit some of China’s largest and most globally recognized universities – including Zhejiang, Fudan, Shanghai Jiao Tong, Southwest and Peking universities.
Gupta is also expected to meet with education officials at the state and provincial levels, and the China Scholarship Council, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education that supplies financial aid to Chinese citizens looking to study abroad and foreign nationals hoping to study in China.
The trip will include a visit to the research centre in Alzheimer’s disease and childhood development disorders at Chongqing Medical University – one of UBC’s most successful joint projects in China.