The University of British Columbia is pleased to announce the establishment of the UBC China Council – a commitment that strengthens our long-standing engagement with one of the most dynamic nations in the world. It reaffirms UBC as the pre-eminent Canadian university collaborating with China.
The UBC China Council is the culmination of extensive consultations with university stakeholders and strategic planning across our entire community. Building on the considerable expertise of our faculty and the long-standing partnerships the university enjoys with Chinese institutions as well as with diaspora communities, the UBC China Council attests to our determination to further our global connections, especially in Asia. The Council will allow UBC to better foster high-level exchanges on academic policy and to develop new, mutually beneficial relationships with leading Chinese universities and organizations.
UBC presently has 55 significant bilateral and multilateral agreements and partnerships with Chinese counterparts. Current student and faculty exchanges with China, as well as cooperative research projects involve thousands of people in our academic community. The Council will enable us to weave together these efforts and engage with China in a more determined, cohesive and systematic manner. The Council is also an important aspect of UBC’s International Strategic Plan, where China was identified as a country of primary focus.
The Council’s mission is to help diversify and strengthen the university’s relationship with China, promote and coordinate engagement and partnership, act as a hub of information on bilateral relations with the broader Chinese academic, policy, and research community, and provide an important resource on China for the UBC community.
UBC Vice President Research and International John Hepburn chairs the Council, which in turn reports to a Steering Committee of Vice-Presidents and Deans chaired by President and Vice Chancellor Stephen J. Toope. The UBC China Council’s membership is drawn from scholars who have extensive China expertise and who are actively engaged with China. A list of the initial membership is appended below. An external advisory council of eminent persons will be convened to advise the President on UBC’s overall relationship with China, and to comment on the work of the Council.
Our consultations with the community and the exploratory work we conducted came to a clear conclusion: UBC needs a central, internal coordination body for our research, teaching and learning exchanges with China. The China Council at UBC will play that role, allowing faculties and academic programs to share knowledge and to better collaborate with their Chinese counterparts.
UBC is a globally significant research university and Canada’s pre-eminent academic authority on China. I hope you will join us in celebrating the launch of the UBC China Council – the latest evolution in what has been a long and mutually rewarding relationship.
John Hepburn, Vice President Research and International
Stephen J. Toope, President and Vice Chancellor