January 25, 2008
By Kirk Sibbald
The U of S is heading overseas to establish and enhance partnerships with some of the world’s most prestigious universities.
Steven Franklin, vice president research, headed a delegation of about 10 people from the U of S who travelled to China last October, and plans are in the works for a similar trip to India at the end of March. The purpose of such travels is to set up student exchanges and research partnerships, issues Franklin said are “critical for the University.”
The China trip included stops at a number of post-secondary institutions in that country, some that already have memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the U of S. The U of S delegation worked on developing new MOUs with other institutions during the October trip.
“In China, we already have some agreements in place. Student exchanges are already occurring and research initiatives are being launched,” said Franklin. “There were a couple of new dimensions that we tried to add so that when we had the meetings with our colleagues over there, we were able to introduce some new ideas.”
Franklin also noted that the partnerships with these institutions range over a wide variety of disciplines, from health science to education. Other possibilities include new initiatives in nursing and engineering.
And while plans for the trip to India in March have yet to be finalized, Franklin said the delegation could likely include senior leaders from medicine, pharmacy and nutrition, and VIDO.
“These are comprehensive delegations that have really been quite exciting,” he said.
To help further with international partnerships, the University recently appointed Tom Wishart, former associated vice president of research and former dean of Graduate Studies and Research, as special advisor on international initiatives. Franklin said Wishart’s work may well identify future partnerships for the University to explore in other countries.
“Clearly the University of Saskatchewan wants to have lots of partnerships with different countries and different areas of the world,” he said. “However, we do need to have some understanding of strategic areas and agree on a few areas we might be able to focus on, because we do have limited resources.”