14 Ontario Universities Head to China to Forge Partnerships

TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario universities are looking to expand their partnerships with universities and business in China on missions to Jiangsu province that culminate on Friday with a signing ceremony attended by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

"Ontario universities are actively forging connections with universities around the world to expand and foster partnerships that will boost the province's competitive advantage globally." says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities, which is leading the delegation.

"Missions like this one to China to enhance partnerships in academic programs and research and to seek new exchange opportunities for students and faculty, give Ontario an even more competitive edge on the world stage."

Eighteen representatives from 11 Ontario universities and COU are embarking on a mission to Jiangsu province on Nov. 3, with additional universities taking part in a delegation led by Premier Wynne that takes her to Nanjing, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong and runs Nov. 5 to 14.

The two delegations meet Nov. 6 in Nanjing to sign new and renewed agreements at a celebration with Premier Wynne and Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade Minister Michael Chan.

Ontario universities were invited by the Jiangsu Department of Education after several Vice Presidents of Research were hosted here last year. There is an educational accord between Jiangsu and Ontario, and the exchange program is a key feature.

International education is considered an essential driver of Canada's future prosperity, enhancing research, innovation, trade, human capital and the labour market.

The COU delegation arrives in Suzhou on Nov. 3 with visits to 10 universities over five days, as well as to research parks and incubators. The group will also meet with business leaders and government officials and take part in the Fourth Annual Global R&D Summit in Nanjing, the capital city of Ontario's sister province, Jiangsu.

The Premier's mission is to showcase Ontario's expertise in science, clean technology, construction, engineering and agriculture sectors, as well as to promote partnership opportunities in education and health care.

Premier Wynne will also take part in celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Ontario-Jiangsu Friendship Accord.

Ontario universities taking part in the COU mission are: Carleton, Lakehead, Laurentian, McMaster, Nipissing, OCADU, Ottawa, Queen's, Trent, Wilfrid Laurier and York. York is also part of the Premier's delegation, as are Ryerson, University of Toronto and Western.

China is one of Ontario's largest trading partners, and the largest source of the province's international students.

Last December, seven Ontario universities and COU strengthened international partnerships with Turkey during a three-day mission to that country.

Quick Facts:

  • The economic impact of international students to the Canadian economy has been estimated at $6.9 billion annually
  • 54,740 international students are enrolled at Ontario universities, hailing from 215 countries
  • International students comprise 11 per cent of all university enrolments in Ontario
  • There has been a 96 per cent growth in the number of international students over the last decade

COU is the voice of Ontario's universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success.

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SOURCE Council of Ontario Universities

For further information: Wendy McCann, Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations, 416-979-2165 ext. 233, 647-271-0825 (cell), Email: wmccann@cou.on.ca


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