BC Gov News: Scholarships encourage student exchanges between SFU and China

March 13, 2015

Original article was published in the BC GOV News website.

BEIJING, CHINA - Sixteen scholarships of $5,000 each will support and encourage students studying in a dual degree program between Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China, announced Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson during a mission to China.

“In a global economy, international experience is invaluable and leads to significantly improved opportunity, understanding, and connections,” said Wilkinson. “These 16 scholarships between SFU and ZJU build on one of the goals of this Trade Mission to China to encourage student exchanges between British Columbia and China.”

Scholarships will be awarded each year on a competitive basis for four years, starting in 2015, for two new Chinese students coming to SFU and two new Canadian students going to ZJU. Government and SFU are each providing $40,000 for the British Columbia-Zhejiang Excellence scholarships.

“For over 25 years SFU has been committed to building educational partnerships and research collaborations in China, “ said SFU president Andrew Petter. “In our ongoing mission to engage the world we are developing mutually beneficial agreements and opportunities with our Chinese partners that further assist in supporting British Columbia’s strong trade ties in the region.”

SFU launched its Dual Degree Program in Computing Science with ZJU in Hangzhou, China, in 2005. The program has received two awards in Canada and B.C. for excellence in international education: 2013 Canadian Bureau for International Education Panorama Award for Outstanding International Education Program, and 2012 British Columbia Council for International Education Outstanding Program in International Education.

This is the first mission to China for Wilkinson as Advanced Education Minister. He is accompanied by representatives from four B.C. post-secondary institutions: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Langara College, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia.

The mission is an opportunity to strengthen existing government-to-government education relations, and establish new relations and institutional partnerships. It will also promote the two-way exchange of students and highlight pathways to further learning in British Columbia such as offshore schools to post-secondary institutions in B.C. These are key goals of B.C.’s International Education Strategy.