media release

SFU becomes a preferred destination for Chinese graduate students

July 07, 2011

Catherine Price, SFU International, (in China) 1.604.733.3480 (cell; call or text)
Marianne Meadahl, SFU PAMR, 778.782.3210; 604.209.5770 (cell),

(SFU President Andrew Petter is currently in China but can be available for interviews. Note that Beijing is 15 hours ahead of Vancouver time – best time for interviews today is between 4:30 and 11:30 p.m. Vancouver time. Please call above to arrange.)

President Petter will return to Vancouver July 12

MOU signing
Photo on Flickr

Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter signed an agreement in Beijing today that will make SFU a preferred institution for Chinese graduate students.
The MOU with the China Scholarship Council will enable top Chinese graduate students to receive scholarship funding to attend SFU.
“Simon Fraser University is honoured to enter this MOU with the CSC to support leading Chinese graduate students to study at our university,” says SFU President and Vice Chancellor Andrew Petter.
"SFU has strong and dynamic partnerships with some of the most prestigious universities in the PRC (People’s Republic of China). This agreement will add to those relationships and to SFU’s reputation as a university of choice for international graduate students.”
SFU has seen a significant increase in graduate students from China in the past decade. In 2001, SFU had 79 graduate students from China.  In 2011, the number of Chinese graduate students had grown to 238, making them the largest contingent of foreign graduate students.
Petter’s visit to China marks his first international trip since becoming SFU president last fall. While in China, he is also visiting with some of SFU’s partner universities – Zhejiang University (ZU), Tsinghua University (TU), and Communication University of China (CUC) – and meeting with SFU alumni in Shanghai and Beijing.
Zhejiang and Tsinghua are ranked among the top universities in China, and CUC is the country’s premier media and communications university.
“With the signing of the MOU, SFU has become a CSC-designated institution for Chinese graduate students, which will further promote the higher education collaboration between China and Canada", says the CSC Secretary-General Jinghui LIU.

  • There were 4,656 graduate students at SFU in the fall of 2010 - 1,024 (22%) of these students were international visa students. Graduate visa students from China made up 23% of SFU's graduate international visa population in fall 2010.
  • Chinese students top the list of SFU’s international graduate students at 238, followed closely by Iran with 211, the U.S. with 150, and India with 59.
  • Communication University of China and SFU have collaborated for the past 10 years and are currently developing a double Master of Arts degree in Global Communication.
  • Zhejiang University and SFU offer a unique dual degree program that allows Canadian and Chinese students to study together for two years at ZU and two years at SFU. Students receive a computing science degree from each of the schools and become familiar with the languages, cultures, societies, and academic institutions in both countries.
  • Tsinghua University and SFU have an active student exchange program.
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