Strong friendship bond with China celebrated in Beijing

By Dale Johnson and Costa Maragos Posted: September 26, 2016 11:00 a.m.

President Timmons meets with U of R alumni in Beijing.
President Timmons meets with U of R alumni in Beijing. Photo: UR International

The close friendship between the University of Regina and its Chinese alumni was celebrated at a special event in Beijing on September 24. U of R alumni, based in China, attended the special evening with President Dr. Vianne Timmons.

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President Timmons (r) with Xiaopei Li, who earned a BBA at the U of R and now works at Siemens in Beijing. Photo: UR International

The event was co-hosted by the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Government of Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall, who is in China on a trade mission, also spoke at the event.

Speaking on behalf of U of R alumni was Dr. Jing Xinhai – Honorary Doctorate – and founding chairman & CEO of CVIC Software Engineering Co.

He expressed his appreciation for the education he received at the University of Regina, which helped lay the foundation for his success today.

The U of R has built strong ties with China. This year is the 35th anniversary of the relationship between the U of R and China.

The U of R was the first university in Canada to partner with a Chinese institution – Shandong University – in 1981.  

“We’re proud of our long standing relationship with China,” says Timmons. “Our presence in Beijing today highlights the importance we place on our alumni in China. You are our greatest ambassadors, as are those who choose to make Regina their home after graduation. Our Chinese alumni in Regina have enriched our community.”

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President Timmons (l) with Xi Chen, Director General, Xinjiang Ecological Geography Institution, who was a post-doctoral fellow in environmental systems engineering at U of R. Photo: UR International

Over the years, the U of R has hosted more than 200 visiting professors and researchers from China. This year, more than 850 Chinese students are studying at the University of Regina.

In addition, the U of R has approximately 60 agreements with 30 Chinese institutions.

These include:
•    joint undergraduate and graduate degree programs
•    student and faculty mobility programs
•    scholarship programs and Shen Kuo research programs
•    co-operative educational placements
•    innovative research partnerships

“It is enriching having Chinese students on our campus,” says Timmons. “Their global perspective, high academic performance, and their determination and great charisma make a positive difference to our campus and our university life.”

In addition to the alumni event, President Timmons met with members of the China Scholarship Council. That organization provides financial assistance to students in China wishing to study abroad, many of whom take classes at the U of R.

The University’s special partnerships and collaborations with China will be further celebrated on campus during International Education Week November 21 to 24.  

For more information about 2016 International Education Week, please contact