President and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, Feridun Hamdullahpur, visited China last week to strengthen already solid bonds with some of China’s leading, globally renowned universities. “It is essential that we build strong relationships with Chinese institutions as we seek to provide researchers and students with a diversity of experience and insight that is vital to the pursuit of knowledge and discovery,” said Hamdullahpur in a UW press release. “China has an impressive group of universities that share Waterloo’s passion for expertise in research and academic excellence.” Hamdullahpur met with representatives from five of China’s universities: Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Soochow University, Nanjing University, and Beijing Jiao University. “If you take, for example, Tsinghua University, one of the top innovative universities not only in China, but the world ­­— ranked among top 50 universities in the world — UW’s effort in strengthening relations with these institutions is important,” said Nick Manning, director of media relationships at UW. “The university wants to take advantage by tapping into the best talent and innovative ideas [and] research available, and relationships with these institutions help accomplish this.” Tapping into some of the talent China has to offer is exactly what the university is accomplishing. During this trip, Tsinghua University and UW reached an agreement to allow students from China to study at UW by offering admission to a pre-bachelor level course from UW’s Schooling of Continuing Education. With over 3,000 students from China currently studying at the University of Waterloo, Manning said, the School of Continuing Education is important in helping students coming from China to overcome language barriers, and provide them the skills and confidence that will allow for a smooth transition to UW. This agreement is on top of joint ventures in the field of quantum information science already in place, including the Tsinghua-Waterloo Joint Centre for Quantum Computing, where both institutions share expertise. In addition, each summer UW sets aside two of only 20 openings specifically for Tsinghua undergraduate students in the “prestigious” Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing. When asked if these openings affect or have affected admissions of domestic students in the past, Manning said, “No, it does not.” Next, President Hamdullahpur will join a delegation of researchers from Waterloo for a joint symposium on the environment in Nanjing; Prof. Daniel Scott, known for his research in the field of climate change, will also be part of the delegation of researchers.