York University and Peking University, China’s top-ranked university, signed a partnership agreement Sept. 29. The evening ceremony took place in York’s Schulich School of Business.
Representing York was Vice-President Academic Sheila Embleton, who signed the agreement on behalf of the University. Vice-President Wu Zhipan signed on behalf of Peking University. The agreement facilitates student, faculty and research exchanges between the two institutions. The signing ceremony was also attended by the consul general of China, Chen Xiaoling, the consul general of Germany, Klaus Rupprecht, Professor Kurt Huebner, director of York’s Centre for German and European Studies, and York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R.Marsden.
Left: Peking University Vice-President Wu Zhipan and York’s Vice-President Academic Sheila Embleton
“I am honoured to be here. My colleagues and I are delighted to partner with York university,” said Wu, prior to signing the agreement. “We have many areas of expertise we can share – history, culture, philosophy, science and many other areas of excellence.”
After thanking the guests for coming, Embleton said: “Some people are no doubt wondering why the German consul general is here tonight. This partnership involves many dimensions and involves other partners. One of the first areas of collaboration between York and Peking University will be in German and European studies. Professor Kurt Huebner, director of York’s Canadian Centre for German and European studies, will be visiting Peking University next month.
“There are many innovative things we can do through York and through partnerships of this kind. For example, the Schulich School of Business is one of the most highly ranked business schools in the world and already has already established a partnership with the business school of Peking University,” said Embleton. “In many respects, this university to university partnership extends what has already happened between the two schools.”
The signing is part of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) Canada-China Roundtable on Higher Education Partnerships – featuring 35 Chinese universities – that took place in Toronto following the signing ceremony. A delegation of 13 rectors (senior officials) from Chinese universities visited York’s Keele campus.
The agreement is the result of Embleton’s participation in the Canada-China Academic Mentoring Program last November, in which she was paired with her counterpart at Peking University. They agreed verbally to a partnership and details were worked out subsequently.
The agreement is also part of York’s internationalization program, whose goals include the creation of opportunities for student exchange and for research collaboration. One of York University’s international interns will go to Peking University in 2005. And it is part of York’s move to establish partnerships with the world’s highly prestigious universities. Peking University is ranked number one in China. York has also signed an agreement with Fudan University in Shanghai, rated one of the top three universities in China.