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Global entrepreneurship network expands to Shanghai

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre’s Global Network program helps budding entrepreneurs find their feet in the economic capitals of the world.

Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, presents in Shanghai. (Supplied Photo)

Freshly minted Queen’s entrepreneurs looking to get their start in Asia now have some additional support.

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC)’s Global Network, a group of alumni and senior business leaders around the world, has added a network node in Shanghai. The node marks the fifth link in the Global Network, and the first in Asia.

“A node in Shanghai is the next logical step for us, and will be a boost to our ability to support entrepreneurship and innovation activities at Queen’s and beyond,” says Greg Bavington (Sc’85), Executive Director of the DDQIC. “Our growing network will help entrepreneurs emerging from our program solidify their manufacturing strategy and tap into one of the world’s largest markets.”

Joining Queen’s in Shanghai for the announcement of the node was Iris Technologies, a startup launched by Colin Harding (Com’17) and Conor Ross (Sc’16). The company is focused on solving the problem those with a concussion, migraine, or eyestrain often have when using computers. The company is in the midst of implementing a manufacturing strategy for the region.

“As a technology company looking to grow sales and expand its manufacturing capabilities, doing business in Asia is almost a necessity,” says Mr. Ross. “It is my hope that this Global Network node will help hardware startups tackle their biggest challenge – bringing a high-quality product to market – and to achieve this faster and with better products. We are grateful for the support of the DDQIC team and their efforts to support entrepreneurs like us.”

The Queen’s China Liaison Office, located in Shanghai, and the department of Alumni Relations are supporting the recruitment of the first volunteer members of this new node. The China Liaison office was founded in 2007 and its existence underscores the importance of the country to Queen’s global ambitions, says Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien.

“Building relationships in China is a priority for Queen’s,” says Ms. O’Brien. “The university sent 47 students on exchanges to China in 2016-2017, and has almost 300 identified alumni in mainland China. The Shanghai node of the Global Network is an exciting opportunity to engage our strong and committed Queen’s alumni community in building Queen’s-China connections, and to leverage and recognize their talents by making them an integral partner to what we are doing.”

The DDQIC, Alumni Relations, and Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International) are seeking Shanghai-based alumni, business leaders, and other supporters who are willing to volunteer their time advising and assisting Queen’s student entrepreneurs. In addition to supporting alumni entrepreneurs as they seek to build connections globally, the network also helps review the pitches of student entrepreneurs who are a part of the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative program.

Those interested in participating in the Global Network program or learning more about it should visit the DDQIC’s website.

International partnership celebrates first graduate

Matthias Hermann (MSc’17) poses with his invention – a device which detects cadmium in drinking water. (University Communications)
Matthias Hermann (MSc’17) poses with his invention – a device which detects cadmium in drinking water. (University Communications)

A quick glance at Matthias Hermann’s resume shows he’s not afraid of the occasional international adventure.

Since beginning his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in his native Germany in 2011, Mr. Hermann (MSc’17) has conducted short-term research projects in China and Australia, as well as his home country. Recently, he added Canada to the list after completing a dual degree master’s program in Chemistry – a partnership between Queen’s University and Universität Stuttgart.

“I planned on spending some time abroad as part of my master’s, and when I heard about this program I knew it would be a good fit,” says Mr. Hermann (Sc’17). “I wanted a longer term abroad, exposure to a different academic and cultural environment, and a chance to improve my English. Through this program I got all of that – plus I graduated with two master’s degrees.”

Mr. Hermann recently successfully completed his thesis defense, earning his Queen’s Masters of Science in Chemistry and becoming the first graduate of the dual degree program. At the same time, he earned his Master’s of Chemistry degree through his home university in Germany as part of this two-year partnership program. Mr. Hermann’s thesis revolved around a device to detect cadmium in drinking water in a way that is portable, easy-to-use, and affordable.

Mr. Hermann had to adjust to differences in the Canadian higher education system – at Stuttgart, for example, master’s theses don’t require a defense. Adding to the pressure, representatives from both Queen’s and Stuttgart were present for his defense.

During the visit by Stuttgart, their Dean of Chemistry, Cosima Stubenrauch, held an information session for Queen’s students about the dual master’s degree program.

“About a dozen students attended, and when I asked them to raise their hands if they thought this was something they might want to do every one of them raised their hand,” says Hans-Peter Loock, head of Queen’s Chemistry department. “We are hoping to increase our international footprint, and agreements like these help our students gain a wider variety of experiences in high performing environments.”

Before the visit by Stuttgart representatives, Cally Li (Artsci’17) had already made up her mind. She started in the MSc degree program at Queen’s this fall, and will be heading to Germany in 2018.

“I was looking for a way to stay at Queen’s one more year, but I was also looking for a way to move on and try something new next year,” says Ms. Li. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to build some international connections and try something new. I have heard a lot of good things about Stuttgart’s labs and their standard of work.”

Students from Stuttgart are also emailing Dr. Loock to learn about life in Kingston. Dr. Loock says, ideally, they would like to see multiple students from Stuttgart studying at Queen’s and vice versa each year.

“Successful research groups must be internationally networked – it’s part of doing science,” Dr. Loock says. “Setting up these agreements takes effort and buy-in, but exchanging students with a top German university like Stuttgart allows our graduate students to get the best of both worlds. And, as I discovered when I was an international student in Canada: you stay at a place long enough and sometimes it becomes home.”

Perhaps that will be Mr. Hermann’s experience, as he recently decided to complete his PhD in Chemistry at Queen’s. 

Principal outlines priorities for 2017-18

The Principal has outlined his major priorities for Queen’s University in 2017-18. In this interview with the Queen’s Gazette, Daniel Woolf previews what’s to come this year.


How do your priorities advance the university’s mission and build the Queen's of the future that you have envisioned and spoken about?

We are collectively building the Queen’s of the future every day. It’s a place of great traditions, and many of those traditions still survive from my time as a student. Yet no institution survives by staying in the same place. We need to adapt and change. We have made huge progress in the last few years, and I think our trajectory is simply going to continue upward.

My first priority as Principal was to put our financial and governance house in order, develop a culture of planning, and introduce a new budget model – which has been done thanks to the hard work of the Deans and our former Provost. The last few years have been focused on putting in place the conditions for future success, including drafting documents such as the Strategic Framework and the Comprehensive International Plan, ensuring sustainable enrolment growth, improving town-gown relations, and working on our talent management.

My current goals are based on a three-year rolling plan, which includes short-term and long-term priorities. The 2017-18 underlying themes are primarily: catalyzing change, which relates to faculty renewal and research prominence; respecting our community, which includes diversity and inclusion as well as encouraging safe and respectful behavior; and an infrastructure strategy, which will look at the question of how we eliminate $300 million worth of deferred maintenance in the next ten to twelve years and, of course, how we will pay for it.

The faculty renewal effort underpins many of these priorities. It will support our commitment to equity and inclusion, enhance our teaching and learning by ensuring students receive mentorship from faculty with diverse backgrounds and experience, and will help us attract promising early- and mid-career faculty who demonstrate exceptional promise as researchers.

Achieving these goals will put us in a position to reach for much greater success in research and innovation. This should lead us, five to ten years down the road, to an enhanced reputation as one of the most distinctive universities in the country in terms of the quality of its teaching, the quality of its students and faculty, the quality of its research, and its ability to innovate.


Looking ahead to the fifth year of our planned faculty renewal efforts, what difference will we see in the Queen’s of 2021-2022?

You will see nearly a quarter of the entire faculty complement turn over between new hires, retirements, and other departures. We will have a number of younger faculty out of recent PhD programs with somewhat different approaches to pedagogy, community relations, and interdisciplinarity. You will also be seeing some mid-career and senior appointments in designated fields to firm up areas of established excellence and promising emerging subjects. Hiring these 200 new faculty is a strategic investment that will lead us into the future.

These new faculty will want to come here because we will be one of Canada’s leading research intensive and teaching universities. They will want to be here because we are a place that recognizes innovation. They will be drawn by the good quality of life, the vibrant culture, and the affordability of living in Kingston. And they will have the chance to teach outstanding students in an environment where there is a great care for health and wellbeing, and in a place where we have made some thoughtful and strategic choices in terms of our research excellence.

The two primary lenses we are using to guide our hiring decisions are research excellence – the few areas at Queen’s that have the capacity to be really world-leading – and diversity and equity, where we know that we have some work to do.

We cannot aspire to be a world leader in every single subject and every single discipline. We have the capacity to make some choices to pursue areas – particle physics is an obvious one, but not the only one – where we can rank in the top 100 or higher. Making such choices does not disadvantage or diminish other areas. A rising tide lifts all boats.

The Provost and I will be taking advice from the Deans and the incoming Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) in terms of what are the most promising areas. I say ‘areas’ rather than necessarily ‘departments’ or ‘disciplines’ since some will be multidisciplinary. We will also be appealing to our alumni, who recognize the importance of hiring and retaining the best and brightest, for support for endowed chairs and professorships to support our hiring plans.


Why are our research reputation and graduate student experience so important?

For Queen’s to be where we need to be five to ten years from now, we need to raise our game on research and graduate education.

We have an outstanding reputation as an undergraduate institution. We are one of the lead providers of a baccalaureate education, inside and outside the classroom. But it is important, if we are to be a truly balanced academy, that we are equally recognized for our research. It is not just an add-on – it is as big a part as the teaching and support for our faculty members.

Student engagement scores are solid on the undergraduate side. We have a little work to do on graduate engagement scores, and the Deans are looking closely at how we can improve those. It’s something we need to see some movement on in the next few years.

The graduate piece is really important because graduate students contribute enormously to the university. On the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) side of the house, they work on research projects that are very much connected with supervisor’s research programme. They are a big part of the engine that drives research. On the non-STEM side, where that model occurs sometimes but is less common, they contribute to the intellectual life of the humanities and social sciences departments. Even in my current job I still supervise one or two graduate students. They keep me on my toes intellectually. And graduate students also enhance our teaching as TAs and Teaching Fellows.


What do you hope to achieve by implementing the international strategy, and what impact will this have on Queen’s reputation?

Our international recognition has begun to improve through the great success our admissions and international teams have had in bringing people in. If you tell the world about us, they will actually come. Students who come here and return home build our reputation further.

Reputation is important. Apart from attracting fantastic students, it also has an impact on our ability to form international partnerships and secure international research funding. There is an awful lot of research money available in Europe and Asia, for example, which we could be accessing if we had more collaborative partnerships. We want to build on strategic partnerships with institutions we see as equal or better, opening up exchanges for students, creating opportunities for our faculty to have overseas sabbaticals and for faculty to come here on their sabbatical, and build more international research collaborations.

At the same time, there is also funding to be had in industry partnerships. That, in turn, helps the city and our country. All of this is part of a virtuous circle which will further enhance our reputation.

As I suggested above, interdisciplinarity is important. To solve the problems of the world, physicists have to work with chemists, biologists have to work with environmental engineers and, frankly, all of them need the advice of the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Looking ahead in the next few years, I would like to see us move in a bolder direction to organize interdisciplinary entities that bring together people from different departments and faculties.


What do employees need to know and be aware of as far as Queen’s financial competitiveness?

We have come a long way. We would not be hiring 200 faculty over the next five years if we had not got our financial house in order, and achieving this has very much been a collective effort.

On the staff side, Physical Plant Services has been managing our energy costs, saving us a good deal of money over the years. Advancement has been remarkably successful in getting donors to invest and I want to thank them for their hard work. Every dollar into the endowment produces 3.5 cents for particular things we need each year. When you have a large endowment, as we now do, that’s a significant chunk of money.

We have staff in research services and the faculties who work with faculty members and students generating scholarships and operating grants, and those who develop new programs which have brought in additional revenue to the university. Senate has been exceptionally busy in recent years overseeing the development of new programs and exercising its academic oversight of their quality.

And we have a very engaged board of trustees and committees with a lot of financial acuity and experience, and they have helped manage risk and given us a sound financial strategy.

There is still some work to do. We are getting close to resolving some of our long-standing pension issues, which remain a major financial threat. We have significant deferred maintenance challenges to address in the next few years, and it is not only our oldest buildings which need work. We are making progress, as you can see with the number of cranes, trucks, and workers around. Our Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) is developing a strategic asset management plan so we can identify which buildings are the most urgent for refresh or outright replacement. We have also benefitted from strong returns on our investments and a continued increase in student enrolment, though we must remain cautious and continue to address some of our financial risks.


What are the growth areas for Queen’s reputation, and how do we get there?

Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher is leading our strategic research plan renewal process, and Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) Teri Shearer is leading the academic plan renewal. Both of these processes should be resolved later this year, pending approval by Senate, and those, in turn, will inform our next iteration of the strategic framework in 2019.

We need to develop a more pan-university approach to some of the things we do. As I suggested above, it’s essential that we bring social sciences, humanities, and arts into some of our more well-known areas of strength. Among other things, they are going to be enormously important in our future digital strategy.

There remain some health and wellness challenges, especially around alcohol consumption, where student leaders have been working with us, and with community members, to encourage safe drinking. University Council has a number of Special Purpose committees looking into matters of importance such as alcohol consumption on and off campus. And we need to remain vigilant on the issue of sexual violence, which is often related to abuse of alcohol.

Finally, we must consider what we can do to become a leader in policy innovation once again. I am expecting, in the next month or so, a report on the future of public policy at Queen’s. I think it will give us some very interesting guidance on directions we might take, and the larger issue of Queen’s in the Canadian and larger international public policy sphere. This obviously involves the School of Policy Studies but I think it can involve so many more of our faculty and students around the university.

Queen's a finalist for prestigious global engagement award

Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

Queen’s University is one of four finalists for the Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement, an annual honour handed out by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The award recognizes an institution at the leading edge of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campus.

"Queen's in the World"
Queen's in the World

Also nominated are the University of Calgary, Michigan State University, and the University of Washington. The winner will be announced during the 2017 APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, DC that runs from Nov. 12-14.

“Increasing Queen’s visibility and relevance internationally has been, and continues to be, a central strategic priority,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “To be recognized by the APLU as a North American leader in global research and outreach is an indication that our efforts are paying off and that we are heading in the right direction.”

Queen’s has been selected as a finalist because of its broad range of internationalization initiatives and achievements.

Kathy O'Brien, Associate Vice-Prinicipal (International)
Kathy O'Brien, Associate Vice-Prinicipal (International)

“In 2015, we launched our first-ever Comprehensive International Plan that set ambitious four-year targets for international research engagement, mobility, student recruitment and enrolment, and campus-based international activities,” says Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International). “Already, we’ve exceeded our objectives for international enrolment and for intercultural training programs on campus, and we’re on course to meet our 2019 goal of increasing undergraduate exchange participation by 25 per cent.”

The APLU also recognized Queen’s as a top contender for notable academic accomplishments like Dr. Arthur B. McDonald’s Nobel Prize-winning work in physics, and its 10-year, $24 million grant from the Mastercard Foundation’s Scholars Program to develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program in partnership with the University of Gondar.

“Queen’s is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community where interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning and research are fundamental,” says Ms. O’Brien. “Scientific breakthroughs are often achieved through international knowledge sharing and partnerships, and our students need to acquire the skills and connections that will help them succeed on the global stage once they graduate. This recognition from the APLU further inspires our efforts to position Queen’s as a world leader.”

The APLU is a 237-member research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 

New BISC students receive warm welcome

  • Dr. Hugh Horton presents a new BISC student with her scarf. (Supplied Photo)
    Dr. Hugh Horton presents a new BISC student with her scarf. (Supplied Photo)
  • A new spin on an old tradition - a student takes a selfie wearing their new scarf. (Supplied Photo)
    A new spin on an old tradition - a student takes a selfie wearing their new scarf. (Supplied Photo)
  • Dr. Christian Lloyd welcomes a new member of the BISC family. (Supplied Photo)
    Dr. Christian Lloyd welcomes a new member of the BISC family. (Supplied Photo)
  • Dr. Anna Taylor shares a scarf, and a smile, with a new BISC student. (Supplied Photo)
    Dr. Anna Taylor shares a scarf, and a smile, with a new BISC student. (Supplied Photo)
  • A few of the 130 students who received their BISC scarves at the welcome event. (Supplied Photo)
    A few of the 130 students who received their BISC scarves at the welcome event. (Supplied Photo)

It’s a tradition dating back hundreds of years, with roots in the European education system. New members of a university community would be granted a scarf, which featured unique colours that identified them as a member of a particular university.
On Sept. 10, students at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) received their scarves – a navy blue knit with red stripes and the BISC logo – in a special ceremony. The scarves were presented to the students by Hugh Horton, Vice Provost and Executive Director of the BISC; Christian Lloyd, the BISC’s Academic Director; and Dr. Anna Taylor, BISC Deputy Academic Director.

Celebrating a unique international partnership

Representatives from the University of Gondar, Queen’s University and the Mastercard Foundation highlight US$24 million collaboration 

  • Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf, Kim Kerr, Deputy Director, Education and Learning, Mastercard Foundation and Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar exchange university flags to mark the partnership. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf, Kim Kerr, Deputy Director, Education and Learning, Mastercard Foundation and Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar exchange university flags to mark the partnership. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
  • PhD student Molalign Adugna, Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar, chat with Principal Daniel Woolf and Marcia Finlayson, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Director of School of Rehabilitation Therapy. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    PhD student Molalign Adugna, Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar, chat with Principal Daniel Woolf and Marcia Finlayson, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Director of School of Rehabilitation Therapy. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
  • A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony was part of the celebration, featuring freshly roasted beans. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony was part of the celebration, featuring freshly roasted beans. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
  • Guests at the launch event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, also enjoyed Ethiopian bread and other traditional foods. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    Guests at the launch event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, also enjoyed Ethiopian bread and other traditional foods. (Photo by Stephen Wild)

It takes plenty of behind the scenes work to get a 10-year, multi-million dollar program up and running. Over the past nine months, people at the University of Gondar and Queen’s University have been working closely with the Mastercard Foundation to put in place all the supports needed to launch the unique international academic and research program.

This week, representatives from all three organizations gathered in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre to celebrate accomplishments so far and to highlight the opportunities the

[Mastercard Scholars Foundation logo]

Learn more about The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

US$24 million partnership will bring. Its overarching aim is to create outstanding and inclusive educational opportunities for young people with disabilities in Ethiopia and other countries in Africa under the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. At the same time, Queen’s will be welcoming University of Gondar faculty members who are dedicated to pursuing their PhDs or Masters.

“I want to acknowledge the vision of the Mastercard Foundation and particularly commend their leadership for choosing a program with such great social purpose,” said Daniel Woolf, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “It is the beginning of a partnership and the beginning of an exchange of cultures and knowledge that will benefit all of us.”

Under the partnership, 450 African students will become Mastercard Scholars and receive a high quality education at the University of Gondar. In total, the University will provide 290 undergraduate and 160 master’s level degrees in multidisciplinary fields that will encompass health sciences, law, education, nursing, and rehabilitation sciences, taking special care to recruit young people with disabilities, as well as young people from conflict-affected countries.

The University of Gondar will also deliver an annual Summer Leadership Camp for Scholars across the program, as well as a robust, practicum-based experiential program focused on giving back to community, through service and leadership skill development in the field of community-based rehabilitation.

For its part, Queen’s will be providing 60 University of Gondar’s faculty members with an opportunity to study here -- 16 in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program and 44 in PhD programs in various disciplines across the university. All faculty members who will study at Queen’s will enhance their skills in innovative pedagogy and in topics related to disability and inclusion on the continent.

The project will also offer funding for collaborative research to be conducted jointly on disability, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), and inclusive education, with co-Principal Investigators from the University of Gondar and from Queen’s.

The University of Gondar and Queen’s University will also collaborate to develop Ethiopia’s first Undergraduate Occupational Therapy program and will create a CBR certificate program for Mastercard Scholars at the University of Gondar.

“Along with the Mastercard Foundation, I would also like to thank Queen’s University for being an exceptional partner in providing high-caliber expertise in the areas of faculty development, research, and community based rehabilitation,” said Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic at the University of Gondar. “Global partnerships such at this are crucial to realizing our ambition to change the world for the better.”

Also sharing their thoughts at the event, were the first two University of Gondar faculty members to arrive at Queen’s to begin work on their PhDs.

“From my experience in teaching and administration, I have observed there is a great need for inclusion, visibility and equal access to education and employment for students with disabilities in Ethiopia,” said Molalighn Adugna, PhD Student. “I am very excited to be one of the 60 faculty who will receive further training here at this remarkable institution in order to return and support the vision of the University of Gondar to serve the community.”

Both students arrived in June and will be here for the next two years, before heading back to UoG to complete their dissertations.

“When I complete my study, I will pass my knowledge, skills and experiences to the next generation through teaching, research and most importantly by serving my community through strengthening clinical care,” said Mulugeta Chala, PhD student. “I want to thank the Mastercard Foundation for realizing this need and creating the opportunity for African youth like me to learn and prosper.”

Worldwide, the Mastercard Foundation runs a network of 28 Scholars Programs that provide education and leadership development for nearly 35,000 bright, young leaders with a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them.

“There are more than 80 million people across Africa who are living with disabilities and these young men and women deserve an inclusive education that’s designed to help them thrive, and professors and faculty that are committed to ensuring that they develop their skills,” said Kim Kerr, Deputy Director, Education and Learning, Mastercard Foundation. “The Mastercard Foundation played a role in bringing your institutions together based on common objectives, but your vision, commitment, and your passion for working together has truly exceeded all of our expectations.”

Over the coming weeks, the Gazette will continue its coverage of this partnership with a look at some of the experiences of students and faculty taking part in the program so far.

Visit Flickr to see more photos of the Mastercard celebration.

Meeting 'The New India'

  • Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
  • The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
    The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
  • His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)
    His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)

Queen’s University graduate students were introduced to “The New India” as part of a delegation visit by the High Commission of India to Canada on Wednesday.

The delegation was led by His Excellency Vikas Swarup, who was named High Commissioner in the spring. The visit marked His Excellency’s first trip to Kingston since taking office. In addition to being a highly respected diplomat and envoy, His Excellency is also a celebrated author – his most famous book, 2005’s Q&A, hit North American theatres in 2008 as Slumdog Millionaire.

During his day-long stop, he attended a lunch hosted by Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon, presented a lecture to graduate students at the Smith School of Business, and learned about Queen’s research priorities and the recent activities of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre working with the Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi, India. The day concluded with a networking reception hosted by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

“It was an honour to welcome the High Commissioner to Queen’s and to share with him some of the exciting research and innovation we are doing at Queen’s,” says Dr. Bacon. “We were very pleased that His Excellency took the time to discuss the exciting developments taking place in his country, and to elaborate on the opportunities for Queen’s and for Canada to partner with India. Expanding our relationship with India, and having meaningful international “at home” experiences for our students, such as His Excellency’s lecture, are integral parts of our Comprehensive International Plan and I want to thank everyone, and in particular our Mayor Bryan Paterson, who made the day a success.”

His Excellency’s lecture focused on the changing dynamics within the nation of more than 1.3 billion people. He spoke to the existing relationship between Canada and India, which he hoped to make “the defining partnership” of the coming century, and areas of future growth and collaboration.

"India is a very exciting place right now because it is transforming at a rapid pace,” says His Excellency. “In the new India, the most important thing is going to be partnerships. We have a massive requirement of skill...at a time when the world is aging, India has a young population and a youthful population...We are looking for partnerships with premier international universities like Queen's, so I think there is a lot we can do together."

During the visit by the High Commissioner, Dr. Bacon informed the delegation that he will make a trip to India in January to learn more about the work of the Deshpande Foundation. 

Arts + education + the BISC = unique learning experience

BISC Concurrent Education students speak with Head Teacher Barbara Gill and Special Educational Needs Teacher Liz Hubbell of Netherfield Primary School at a special Careers Evening. (Supplied Photo)

A brand new first-year program at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) is celebrating as its first cohort heads back to Kingston to complete their studies, and a new class joins the castle community.

Candidates in the Concurrent Education program complete Education courses alongside their courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science, leading towards the award of a Bachelor of Education in addition to their chosen Bachelor’s degree. The program is designed for students who might be interested in teaching internationally following their studies. Twenty four students successfully completed the year at the BISC in its first offering, and a full complement of 26 are registered for this fall.

“Offering this type of experience so early in their teaching practice really sets the BISC students apart and is likely to benefit their careers greatly,” says Christian Lloyd, Academic Director of the BISC. “Gaining exposure to the UK education system and progressing towards both their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education simultaneously will better equip these students for their chosen career path. We are pleased at the success of the first year offering of Concurrent Education and look forward to welcoming our second cohort this fall.”

Similar to the Concurrent Education program available in Kingston, the first year undergraduates are expected to spend some quality time in a grade school setting while they are students at the BISC. Each student is placed in a local primary school and a local secondary school – and the list of participating schools is growing thanks to the success of the first year.

During their time at the schools, a series of classroom observations organized at these host schools give students invaluable practical experience of working alongside other education professionals. The students can make connections between theory and practice through contact with children in real classrooms. Under the guidance of their hosts, the students are expected to assist the classroom teacher in one-on-one, or small group situations, and then discuss their observations with the host teacher afterwards.

In addition to the hands-on experience, the BISC held a dedicated Concurrent Education Careers Evening at the end of the fall term to help the students visualize where they will go after completing their studies. The evening featured a presentation by highly successful head teacher Sir Paul Grant, and an informal mixer afterwards where students had the chance to meet Liz Hubbell, a Queen’s alumnus now teaching in the UK, along with the head teacher of a local primary school, a recruiter specializing in the placement of overseas teachers in the UK, and representatives from East Sussex Local Education Authority.

Once they complete the first year studies, the students have the option of taking the accompanying classroom-taught module, ‘Self as Teacher’, on their return to Kingston either that summer, or the following fall.

“It was a joy to work with the students at Netherfield (my placement school), and the host teachers were incredibly welcoming and instructive – I learned so much from them,” says Charis Foster (Artsci’20, Ed’21), a student who has completed the Concurrent Education program. “I would highly recommend the First Year Con-Ed program at the Castle for anyone, especially those who hope to teach overseas."

For more information about Concurrent Education at the BISC, click here. You can also learn about the Kingston-based Concurrent Education program here.

International students receive an early welcome

While the majority of students arrive or return to Queen’s over the Labour Day weekend for Orientation Week, many international students are already on campus.

"QUIC student staff"
Student staff at the Queen's University International Centre are welcoming international students to the university community. (Supplied Photo)

International student orientation activities at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) began this week, as more international students arrive in town early to allow themselves more time to settle.

“Starting university can be both exciting and challenging, and for international students, the transition can be magnified when you are far from family and friends and may be adjusting to a new culture,” says QUIC Director Jyoti Kotecha. “We hope students will consider QUIC their home away from home, and use the centre to access campus services and information, meet new people, and start to connect to their new community.”

The centre is open until 8 pm every evening until Sept. 10, and is offering information sessions, social events, and walking tours of campus and facilities, including the ARC and the Isabel. As in previous years, upper year students have been hired to welcome, assist and mentor their new peers in recognition of the value of peer-to-peer connection and support. 

“Our programming is designed to help ease what can be a significant transition for incoming international students,” says QUIC Programs Coordinator Hanna Stanbury. “We aim to orient new students to campus, the Kingston community and to Canada, by offering various activities including a session about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and a bus trip to Toronto. We are really excited to welcome every student to Queen’s.”

For more information about all of the events and activities, vist the QUIC website.

Agreement with Chinese Consulate will boost student mobility

Provost Benoit Antoine-Bacon and Consul General He Wei speak at the University Club
Provost Benoit Antoine-Bacon and Consul General He Wei speak at the University Club.

Queen's University has signed an exciting new agreement with The Education Office, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto. This new Memorandum of Understanding will see up to 10 Queen’s students per year offered a China Scholarship Council scholarship which would allow them to complete part of their studies in China.

The MOU was signed Friday during a campus visit by Consul General He Wei. The agreement aims to promote student mobility at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, across all disciplines. The scholarship will specifically support Queen’s students who wish to further understand China, learn the Chinese language, or study at Chinese universities. The scholarship will be awarded annually to either five students for a full academic year, or 10 students for one term.

Signing the MOU on behalf of Queen’s was Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“Increased cultural awareness, intellectual development, personal development, and career opportunities are only some of the benefit of International learning opportunities,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “This new agreement aligns with our Comprehensive International Plan by enhancing our relationship with China and growing our reputation as a truly international institution. We are pleased to partner with the Consulate General to open up this exciting opportunity for our students, and we look forward to the announcement of our first recipients this fall.”

In addition to the signing ceremony, Mr. He’s first ever visit to Queen’s included meetings with the Vice-Principal (Research), and with the Director of China Liaison Office, followed by a lunch hosted by the Provost. Topics of discussion included research collaboration, student mobility, faculty exchange, and non-academic student support services. The visit was a part of Mr. He’s introduction to Canada – he became China’s new Consul General in Toronto in April.

During the last academic year, 19 Queen’s students participated in an exchange with partners in China and 24 participated in the Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) program, which provides students with fully funded study opportunities in China. Queen's is one of seven Canadian university members of the CLIC program, which was formed in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE), the China Scholarship Council, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada, and a number of top Chinese universities.

To learn more about exchange opportunities for Queen’s students, visit the International Programs Office website.


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