York will have even more opportunity to partner with researchers from China after the University signed a collaboration agreement with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Monday.
CASS has over 30 research institutes, while York has one of the largest faculties of social sciences and humanities in Canada, which makes this an ideal partnership. “CASS is the premier institution in China for social sciences research,” says Lorna Wright, associate vice-president international. “As York International researchers and York faculty members have already partnered with CASS researchers, I thought it was probably time we formalize what we were doing.”
Right: Delegates from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences meet with Lorna Wright (centre)
Six delegates from CASS came to York from China to meet with York researchers and discuss future initiatives and collaborations. “Basically, it will give York researchers better access to opportunities in China for research and we’ll have a partner for that research,” says Wright.
One of those researchers is York political science Professor Gregory Chin in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, who currently has about six research projects on the go all involving CASS scholars in one way or another across disciplines. “The signing of this agreement with CASS will further strengthen these links,” he said.
As the two delegations discussed areas of mutual interest, David Dewitt, associate vice-president research (social sciences & humanities), said he has worked with several CASS researchers in the past, in the 1990s. “York used to work a lot with CASS researchers. I hope this will afford us the opportunity to start that again.”
Left: Wright signs a collaboration agreement with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. From left, Zhang Youyun, deputy director general in CASS’s Bureau of International Cooperation; vice-president of CASS Professor Wu Yin; Wright and Gregory Chin.
David Lumsden, chair of the Department of Anthropology, agreed saying, “There are so many areas where we could work together.”
Chin, Dewitt and Lumsden, along with Bernie Frolic, director of the Asian Business & Management Program; Susan Henders, director of the York Centre for Asian Research; Faculty of Education Professor Qiang Zha; Haideh Moghissi, associate dean, external relations, for the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies; and Professor George Comninel, chair of the Department of Political Science, discussed some of their research interests with delegates from CASS to get a better understanding of their mutual goals.
The Chinese delegation from CASS included: Professor Wu Yin, vice-president; Professor Zhang Changdong, deputy director general in the General Office; Professor Wang Zheng, deputy director general of the Bureau of Scientific Research Management; Professor Hu Guocheng, research fellow in the Institute of American Studies; Professor Zhang Youyun, deputy director general of the Bureau of International Cooperation; and Li Bin, program officer in the Bureau of International Cooperation.
As Wright pointed out, the collaborative nature of the agreement will also be beneficial when it comes to securing funding from granting agencies, as the agencies are always looking for international partnerships. “And CASS is a very prestigious partner.” In addition, the partnership will also facilitate faculty exchanges.
“I hope the agreement will result in further concrete results and research collaborative projects,” says Wright. “It was agreed that the next step would be a meeting at CASS in Beijing during Dean Martin Singer’s trip next month when a task force of Martin Singer, Bernie Frolic and myself would convene with researchers from CASS to discuss the strategic direction.”
Following the signing, the CASS delegates had a tour of the campus and lunch with York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.