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TWU strengthens China connection

Trinity Western University’s delegation to China, led by president Jonathan Raymond, returned to Canada on Nov. 12 after signing four agreements with high quality institutions and hosting three lunches for parents of Chinese students and alumni.

The university was also represented at B.C. government receptions and events, which were part of Premier Christy Clark’s trade mission to China.

“The government events and signings were important for the university,” said Raymond. “My personal highlight was connecting with the parents of our students and alumni. I was moved to hear their stories of love for their children as they released them into our care and sent them around the world to study at TWU.”

TWU board member Hugh Little echoed the president’s comments: “As a parent of TWU alumni, I know the impact the university has on our children. It is great to hear that these Chinese parents also appreciate the safety, support, and care that TWU has for its students.”

In addition to the parent receptions, TWU built new connections with top quality universities — including Harbin Institute of Technology and Hebei University — and extended its relationships with the Tianjin Education Commission and the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics (TUFE).

Vice Provost Kevin Sawatsky said, “It was great to be in Tianjin both in 2007 as Dean of the School of Business, to sign the original agreement with TUFE, and now to see this agreement extended into the future. Meeting with parents of the students who are in or have graduated through this joint program was personally very gratifying.”

The trip was the culmination of a great deal of work put into developing relationships in China over the past decade.

“I am pleased that we are moving these relationships forward in support of both TWU and the universities in China.  Our efforts are really paying off,” said Geoff (Shuo) Feng, Chinese program manager for TWU Extension.

“People in China increasingly see TWU as a Canadian university that delivers high quality education, in a supportive and safe learning environment, to develop people of competence and character.  This is what Chinese parents are looking for in a university.”

The agreements signed in China represent the efforts of the entire TWU campus in embracing global education, as emphasized in a globalization task force report completed in March 2010.

“We are grateful that the B.C. government invited us to join the trade mission to China and India. We participated in only the China portion of the trade mission because our global education strategy is focused and intentional,” said Philip Laird, chair of the globalization task force and TWU international liaison officer.

TWU’s global focus has resulted in a number of recent events and exchanges. In October, the TWU men’s basketball team played exhibition games in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei. In the coming weeks, TWU will launch the International College of Trinity Western University that will recruit its first cohort for the fall of 2012. In December, Chinese Central Television (CCTV 5), with a potential viewership of one billion people, will air a one-hour documentary on TWU.

“TWU is the most remarkable university in Canada.  It is no accident that we consistently receive A-plus grades in the quality of our education and the quality of our teaching and learning. We care about the experiences of our students and strive to transform each student so that they can, in turn, make a remarkable impact on the world,” said Raymond.

“As the only university on the trade mission to China that receives no B.C. government funding for its education, our consistent quality achievement is even more remarkable and is a true testament to our faculty, staff, and students.  What I observed on this trip is simple. Quality matters, whether in Canada or in China.”

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