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Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) Workshop Held in CUPL

On March 20, 2018, the Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) Workshop was held in Beijing. More than 50 participants from the Ministry of Education of P.R.China (MOE), China Scholarship Council (CSC), the Embassy of Canada to China, Canada Global Affairs Department (Ottawa), Canadian University Organization, as well as 9 Canadian universities and 11 Chinese universities attended the workshop.

In the morning of March 20, the opening ceremony of the CLIC Workshop was held at the Xueyuanlu Campus of CUPL. Fang Jun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the MO), Wang Shenggang, Deputy Secretary-General of the CSC, Cindy Termorshuizen, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Canada to China, Ma Huaide, Vice President of CUPL and Gary Slater, Vice President of the University of Ottawa, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Fang Jun said that the Chinese government has attached great importance to the bilateral student exchanges between China and Canada and has always encouraged our students to visit and study in the other country, with the objective of enhancing mutual understanding between the two sides which lays a solid foundation for the development of closer bilateral relations between the two countries. Besides, Fang Jun hoped that the CLIC schools from both sides would put more efforts to improve curriculum design, the quality of the project and project promotion, so that CLIC would become a high-quality exchange project which would help promote educational exchanges and cooperation between China and Canada. Wang Shenggang said that CLIC, since its launch in 2016, had supported 408 students from Canada to study in 18 top-tier Chinese universities for short-term credit courses mainly on Chinese Language and laws. He also said that the CSC, as a scholarship agency funded by the Chinese government, would continue to provide a full range of management and services and welcome more outstanding Canadian youth to study in China.

During the one-day workshop, representatives of the sponsors and participating university from China and Canada had a full exchange of their views on experiences from the past two years’ pilot and progresses of the project. Other topics include the current situation and challenges of Canadian students studying abroad, how to promote students’ participation, and operational development of the CLIC project .

For summing-up, CLIC Administrator Huang Cen, Assistant Vice-President and Executive Director of International Relations and Recruitment in University of Alberta International, and Xu Lan, Director of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange of CUPL, delivered closing remarks for the workshop. Huang Cen focused on “exchanges and facilitation” which are the themes of the workshop, and she also touched upon the further development of CLIC program and how to enhance exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and Canadian universities. She also proposed a blueprint for CLIC development, including its publicity, funding and more diverse programs. On behalf of the Co-host of the workshop, CUPL, Director Xu Lan extended her appreciation to the MOE, CSC, the Canadian government, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada and Embassy of Canada to China for the joint efforts they had made to make CLIC a success. Xu Lan hoped that all the universities involved can utilize their respective advantages and promote Sino-Canadian education development though the platform of CLIC.

In order to deepen bilateral educational cooperation, Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) was established with the joint efforts of the Ministry of Education of P.R.C. and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities in February 2016. CLIC aims to create short-term learning opportunities for Canadian students to study in China, to earn credits with Chinese Government Scholarship. CLIC was written in the China-Canada Joint Declaration as an important outcome during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Canada. On December 4th, 2017, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, officially recognizing CLIC as a national level program and setting up policy framework for official promotion of Canadian students studying in China. Since its launch, CLIC has supported 23 short-term programs and programs under 94 exchange agreements, including the Summer-Term Program on Chinese Law hosted by China University of Political Science and Law and Université de Montréal. Since 2002, the Summer-Term Program on Chinese Law has been held for 16 consecutive years and has attracted close to 1000 Canadian students to study at CUPL.