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More Canadian Students, Scholars Welcome to Experience China

A Canadian young man studying in China fell in love with Xiangsheng, a traditional Chinese comedy, and became a student of two prominent Chinese Xiangsheng masters. He eventually became a household name in China and was appointed as “Goodwill Ambassador to China.”

Similarly, a Chinese woman who graduated from an art academy in China went to Canada and ultimately obtained a Ph.D. in computer science. Committed to integrating interactive media technology and art, she founded the Canada China International Film Festival, which has been held for eight consecutive years.

These two individuals share a common bond — they both benefit from the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program (CCSEP).

Fifty years ago, the Chinese and Canadian governments agreed to establish the CCSEP to enhance mutual understanding. Through this program, professionals from both countries’ higher education institutions, governments, media, and cultural organizations are provided with government funding to study and conduct research in each other’s countries.

The first year of the program saw nine Chinese scholars embark on their academic journey in Canada and 20 Canadian scholars pursue their studies in China. This marked the beginning of student and scholar exchanges between China and Canada.

Over the past five decades, more than 1,100 students and scholars have studied or conducted research in China or Canada, while nearly 380 Canadian students and scholars have been studying in China since the beginning of the 21st century alone.

Upon returning to Canada, these Canadian recipients have been actively engaged in government, academia, media, business, art, etc., with some becoming leading figures in their respective industries. These alumni have become bridges for China-Canada exchanges in their fields thanks to their deep understanding of China, contributing their part to bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Starting the earliest and lasting the longest, the CCSEP is the most influential and highest-level talent cultivation and scholar exchange program between the two countries sponsored by the two governments. It is a testament to the development of people-to-people exchanges between China and Canada.

Today, China is the world’s second-largest economy, with its education and scientific research levels racing toward the forefront of the world. According to the China National Academy of Educational Sciences, China’s Education Superpower Index ranked 23rd globally in 2022, a rise of 26 places compared to 2012, making it the country with the fastest progress.

Additionally, the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index identified 24 Science and Technology clusters in China this year, with three ranking among the top five worldwide. The development has laid a solid foundation for educational exchanges between China and Canada, creating a pressing need for further collaboration.

China remains committed to opening up its education sector to the world to bolster international cooperation and exchanges in education and proactively step onto the global stage with an open mind.

We hope more Chinese and Canadian students can gain great insights and understanding of each other’s history, culture and socio-economic development through the CCSEP. This will enrich their lives, foster their professional growth and strengthen public support to improve and develop China-Canada relations.

More Canadian students and scholars are welcome to come to China, where they will be exposed to the hospitality of the Chinese people, meet diligent Chinese students and witness firsthand the vibrancy of Chinese society. We hope they will return to Canada with cherished memories of time spent in the Asian country.

We eagerly look forward to another 50 years of the CCSEP.