On December 5th, 2013, our College welcomed the President of Qufu Normal University, Mr. Jin Zhaoxun; Mr. Zhao Jinglong, Director of the Service Department; and Mrs Liang Meilling, Director of the Office of International Exchanges and Cooperation. Qufu Normal University has been our partner since 2011. Vanier also welcomed Mr. Gary Johnson, the Dean of Science and Social Science at John Abbott College, also our partner in this project.
The purpose of this visit to Vanier by the three Chinese delegates was to consider future projects that we could undertake together. The visit began with presentations by Gilbert Héroux, Director General, and Martine Gauthier, Academic Dean, on the Cégep system and measures undertaken to ensure the quality of programs.
After a visit to Industrial Electronics, thanks to Louise Robinson, and a visit of the Language School by Maria Weekes, we described the projects we had undertaken together. Vanier and John Abbott had organized a cultural trip for students to China in 2012 -Shirley Zhu, the Mandarin teacher at both colleges was the leader of the trip- and they were invited by Qufu to visit the University. In 2012 and 2013, Sanaa Rizk of the Vanier French Department and Michelle Trepannier of the John Abbott English Department visited the University on pedagogical exchanges related to Modern Languages. A scholarship program was implemented in 2012 and repeated this year whereby students from Vanier study Mandarin at Qufu. Shirley has been indispensable to the success of all these projects.
Rhys Adams, of the Vanier Physics department, and Greg Mulcair of the John Abbott Physics department, next presented on active learning, specifically on peer-based instruction and problem-based learning. In fact, Rhys and Greg, on faculty mobility grants, visited the Chinese institutions in January 2014 to engage in discussions with faculty there, including at Qufu Normal University.
Jen Mitchell, IT Pedagogical Advisor from the PDO, gave the final presentation on Global Classroom initiatives. She showed how teachers have brought experts from around the world into their classrooms and how students have linked up with other students, particularly in Quebec but also with students from abroad, for example, from St. Petersburg University. Vanier extended an invitation to Qufu to connect with Vanier using various technologies.
The visit ended with a lunch where teachers from math and science joined the delegation; our intention is to involve more students and teachers with Qufu Normal University through different training and student mobility projects and the sciences are of particular interest to this University.