A delegation of 20 educational leaders representing 18 different universities and colleges throughout China visited Niagara College on Friday, Dec. 7. The visit was designed as an opportunity to learn more about the Canadian college system and explore potential partnership opportunities.
Following presentations on Niagara College and global partnership opportunities, the group toured the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus and NC’s Learning Enterprises.
“We wanted to bring the presidents and vice presidents of private universities and colleges in China to see Canadian education systems firsthand and witness different educational curriculum and teaching strategies,” said International Education Group Incorporated’s Xi-Ping Huang, PhD. “It is my hope that it will lead to further collaborative educational partnerships between China and Canada.”
Director of global education and partnerships, Justin Williams, PhD, explained how China is currently undergoing a re-examination of its education system. After years of a national focus on university education, a clear skills gap exists. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to highlight the outstanding work that Niagara College does in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” said Williams. “We offer an experiential and applied experience that is not part of the educational system in China. The delegation was truly impressed by our Learning Enterprises and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. I anticipate more NC activity in China moving forward.”
One of the visitors was the president of Beijing Geely University, Huo Weidong, PhD. Founded in 2000, the university is privately owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH), and is known as a pioneer in the global automotive industry. ZGH has acquired world-renowned companies such as Volvo Cars, London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and Terrafugia, an American flying car company. Committed to innovation, ZGH also prioritizes and is highly invested in higher-education institutions, as well as research and development programs.
What surprised the university’s president the most during his visit was the passion of NC’s faculty, staff and students. He was amazed to observe the high-level of diligence NC students express towards their studies, referencing meeting someone from the public while they were buying a plant made by a student from the greenhouse.
“I believe Beijing Geely University can learn a lot from Niagara College’s model,” shared Weidong as he referenced NC’s commitment to student success. “I hope our two institutions can develop a strong and close working relationship in the near future as I can envision many potential partnership opportunities.”
Strengthening global education, NC continues to collaborate with partners worldwide to foster world-ready and work-ready graduates.