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Queen's announces joint program with Tongji University

 

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Queen’s University today announced the creation of a “two-plus-two” degree program, in partnership with China’s Tongji University.

The program will see Tongji students study for two years at its College of Environmental Science and Engineering in Shanghai, before coming to Kingston for two years of study in Queen’s School of Environmental Studies. Graduates will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from Queen’s.

“This two-plus-two program will provide an exceptional international experience that will enrich the education of participating students as well as their classmates at Queen’s,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “It is a partnership that builds upon existing collaborations in environmental science between our two universities, as well as Queen’s longstanding ties in China.”

Wu Jiang, Vice-President (Academic) at Tongji University, and Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen's University, greet each other during the signing ceremony in Shanghai for the new two-plus-two degree program in Environmental Science. 

Queen’s officials, including Provost Harrison, Susan Mumm, Dean of Arts and Science, and Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), were in Shanghai this week when the agreement was officially signed at Tongji.

“Queen’s comprehensive international plan identifies China as one of our priority regions for developing academic and research partnerships, as well as student recruitment,” says Ms. O’Brien. “This program will further co-operation between our two institutions and will strengthen the understanding of environmental expertise in both countries.”

The two-plus-two program is the next step in a series of collaborations between Queen’s and Tongji, which also includes a joint field course in Aquatic Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment, as well as the Sino-Canada Network for the Environment and Sustainable Development, a joint research initiative focusing on topics such as low-impact urban development, aquatic ecosystem remediation, and the monitoring of environmental change using remote sensing and geographic information systems technology.

Brian Cumming, the director of Queen’s School of Environmental Studies and the Queen’s co-ordinator of the new 2+2 program, says that participating students will be able to apply their international experience to environmental problems.

“Environmental issues can have both local and global dimensions, and are often impacted by cultural and social circumstances,” says Dr. Cumming. “This program will be an excellent way for Chinese and Canadian students to learn from each other and we look forward to welcoming the first group of students from Tongji.”

The program is expected to draw roughly 15 students to Queen’s annually.  The first contingent of Tongji students will arrive in the fall of 2015.

Expanding the university’s international reach is a strategic priority for Queen’s and a key driver in its strategic framework. China is central to Queen’s international plan, and a senior delegation from the university is currently touring China to meet with partner institutions, alumni and prospective students. Queen’s also recently launched a Chinese webpage to strengthen the university’s connections with prospective Chinese students and their parents.