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Canada-China Higher Education Relations

Canada is among the earliest major Western countries that established formal relationship with China; Canada is the first major Western country that aided upgrading China’s higher education system in the early years of China’s reform era-in the 1970s and 1980s-which was pivotal to China’s social and economic development thereafter. The early-year one-way traffic in the form of educational aid has later evolved into a two-way traffic between Canada and China, whereby Canada has been benefiting from the bilateral educational relations: China is now a major source of Canada’s international students and skilled immigrants; Canadian universities increasingly enter research collaboration with their counterparts in China, which is now emerging as a global powerhouse for knowledge production. Canada-China higher education relations may now be at a crossroads, owing to current geopolitical tensions that could lead to a decoupling between China and the West.
Daniel A. Bell (Shandong University)
Ruth Hayhoe (University of Toronto)
Qian Tang (UNESCO, retired)
Moderated by Qiang Zha (Education, York University)
This event is part of the Massey Dialogues series and is supported by the Canada-China Initiatives Fund.
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The event will also be streamed live on YouTube.
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Panellist Bios
Daniel A. Bell is originally from Montréal, Quebec, and was educated at McGill University and Oxford University. He is currently Dean of the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Shandong University (Qingdao). In 2018, he was awarded the Huilin Prize and was honoured as a “Cultural Leader” by the World Economic Forum. In 2019 he was awarded the Special Book Award of China. His books include The China Model (Princeton, 2015), and the latest volume (co-authored with Wang Pei) Just Hierarchy (Princeton, 2020).
Ruth Hayhoe is a professor at the University of Toronto. Her Asian engagements have included First Secretary for Education, Science and Culture in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (1989-91), Visiting Professor at Nagoya University (1996) and Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (now the Education University of Hong Kong, 1997-2002). Her recent books include China Through the Lens of Comparative Education (2015), Canadian Universities in China’s Transformation: An Untold Story (2016) and Religion and Education (2018). She received the Silver Bauhinia Star from the Hong Kong SAR Government and the title of Commandeur dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques from the Government of France in 2002. She also holds honorary doctorates from the Hong Kong Institute of Education (2002), the Open University of Hong Kong (2015) and Victoria University in Toronto (2019).
Qian Tang studied from 1979 to 1985 at the University of Windsor where he earned a Master’s degree (Exercise Physiology) and PhD (Biology). Dr Tang then joined the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa as the First Secretary responsible for promoting academic relation between China and Canada. He returned to China in 1989 and worked at the Ministry of Education in Beijing as Division Director and then Shaanxi Provincial Government in Xi’an. Dr Tang jointed UNESCO in 1993, and occupied several senior posts at its headquarters in Paris. In 2010 he was appointed as the Assistant Director-General for Education leading UNESCO’s Sector of Education until his retirement in 2018.



May 26 2021


9:00 am - 10:00 am
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