York and China University of Geosciences sign a memorandum of understanding

York University has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China University of Geosciences (CUG) Beijing to promote cooperation between the two universities for graduate and undergraduate students. The agreement was signed on Wednesday, Jan. 13, by York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and CUG Beijing President Wu Ganguo during a visit to York University’s Keele campus.  

The new MOU grew out of an earlier agreement signed in 2002 between York University and CUG. Under the original agreement, York University accepted a number of second-year students from CUG into the second year of York’s Geomatics Engineering Program to complete their studies. Two of these early students have now gone on to graduate programs at York University.

When the original agreement was signed in 2002, CUG had two campuses, one in Wuhan, located in central China, and the other was in Beijing, in northern China. The two campuses are now separate universities and the new MOU signed on Wednesday is with CUG Beijing. York Professor Qiuming Cheng, who teaches in the Department of Geography in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering in the Faculty of Science & Engineering, spearheaded both agreements.

Above: CUG Beijing President Wu Ganguo (left) and York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri sign the memorandum of understanding. Photos by Edward Fenner, York International.

A number of officials from York and CUG Beijing participated in the signing ceremony, which also included a ceremonial exchange of gifts. Representing CUG Beijing at the ceremony were President Wu Ganguo; Professor Liu Dameng, associate dean of the graduate school; Professor Xia Bairu, director of the Human Resource Office; Professor Wang Liyan, associate dean of the School of Humanities & Economic Management; Professor Li Jie, deputy director of the Educational Affairs Office; and Meng Dahu, deputy director of the International Cooperation Office.

Representing York University at the ceremony was York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri; Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost; Professor Lorna Wright, associate vice-president international; and Professor Qiuming Cheng.

Right: The signing ceremony included an exchange of gifts

As part of the new MOU, York and CUG Beijing have agreed to promote cooperation aimed at providing training at York University for graduate and undergraduate students from CUG Beijing. Master’s and doctoral students who are funded under the Chinese Government Scholarship Program would be nominated by CUG Beijing to apply to York University. Both CUG Beijing and York have also agreed to explore the development of joint degrees for undergraduate students at CUG Beijing. Areas of study will focus on earth sciences, but may also include such disciplines as human resources management. Other types of cooperation will also be encouraged, including faculty guest lectures, collaborative research and joint conferences.

CUG Beijing is a member of China’s Project 211, under which certain institutions of higher education will receive special attention from the Chinese government over the next few years. Project 211 consists of three major components for development, namely the overall institutional capacity, key disciplinary areas and public service system of higher education.

For more information on York’s many international initiatives, visit the York International Web site.