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Increasing Queen's presence in China

During International Education Week – Nov. 14-18 – the Gazette will feature several stories highlighting the activities and initiatives that are advancing Queen’s international priorities.

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[Diana Chau]
As an alumna, Diana Chau, Queen's new recuiter in Beijing, is able to share the university experience with prospective students and their families. (University Communications)

As the new student recruiter for Queen’s in Beijing, Diana Chau is spreading the word about what the university has to offer to prospective students, while also gaining the experience of a lifetime.

[Tricolour Globe]
Queen's in the World

An alumna herself, Ms. Chau (Artsci’12), knows the strengths of the Queen’s experience and is looking to increase the university’s presence in China by sharing her story.

“When I talk to students and their parents, I tell them how well Queen’s does in terms of domestic achievements and how well our students do in terms of retention and graduation. I also tell them what it’s like to study at Queen’s, what the sense of community is,” she says, adding that community is not a strong concept in China. “Coming from a Canadian and Queen’s alumna, I hope to spread that idea of community to them and to tell them that Queen’s is a great university.”

Ms. Chau started the position this summer and is the second recruiter in China for Queen’s, along with Sunny Wang, who is based in Shanghai.

The Queen’s University Comprehensive International Plan (QUICP) identifies China as a priority region for student recruitment, as well as for developing academic and research partnerships.

Queen’s reputation is growing in China and this second recruiter position will help bolster student recruitment. Among our international undergraduates, there are more students from China than any other country.

Ms. Chau had previously worked in a recruiting capacity for Queen’s after graduating before heading to Beijing for a similar position with Lakehead University. However, she was excited by the opportunity to return to her alma mater, while continuing her Beijing experience.

Living and working abroad can be a challenge but Ms. Chau, who hails from the small town of Tottenham, north of Toronto, enjoys the opportunity of experiencing another culture and seeing another part of the world.

The key to success, she says, is the same as it is for international students.

“Keeping an open mind and trying to get involved, getting to know your community, meet people there because if you are alone it really makes a big difference compared to being with a crowd of friends,” she says. “Plus if you have friends you can learn more about the culture, the language.”

Queen’s has set a goal of international students comprising 10 per cent of incoming undergraduate students by 2019, and China is key to reaching the enrolment target.

“We are very excited that Diana has joined our team in China. The growth we have experience from this region reflects the strong presence we have on the ground and in the local time-zone,” says Chris Coupland, Director, International Undergraduate Enrolment. “We are extremely fortunate to now have two professional and enthusiastic alumnae providing support to prospective students and their families, as well as school counsellors and institutional partners.”  

In 2007, Queen’s became the first Canadian university to establish an office in China – the Queen’s China Liaison Office located at Fudan University in Shanghai – with the aim of building relations with partner institutions, prospective students and alumni.

In 2014, Queen’s launched a Chinese language webpage to strengthen the university’s connections with prospective Chinese students and their families.

Queen’s launched the QUICP in 2015 to support its internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through programs like academic exchange programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on the Queen’s campus.