Suzhou Centennial College Hosts its Inaugural Graduation Ceremony
Suzhou Centennial College hosted its inaugural graduation ceremony for 522 students who completed their studies at the Sino-Canadian learning institution. The convocation was presented on China Mobile’s Tianyi Live on Saturday, June 20.
Suzhou Centennial College (SCC) is the first Canadian institution registered and approved by the Chinese government to deliver Canadian post-secondary programs and confer Canadian diplomas in China. The joint learning site was established in association with Suzhou University of Science and Technology and is approved by China’s Ministry of Education.
Business Accounting graduate Vicky Kang explains how this international partnership led her to choose Suzhou Centennial College for her post-secondary studies: “I got to know friends from countries such as Panama, India and South Korea. Through communication with them, I gained a more real understanding of these countries. These three years of study inspired me to study abroad,” and shape her future goals, she says.
SCC students graduated from 12 programs during the commencement ceremony, including four Centennial programs providing Canadian credentials in accounting, finance, software engineering and international business. Thirty of the graduates received a double diploma with Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities certification and China Ministry of Education certification. The programs offer articulated pathways to Centennial’s campuses in Toronto.
“I am very proud to preside over this glorious and important ceremony, which is the result of a ground-breaking partnership between our two nations,” states Dr. Peng Zhenyun, President of Suzhou Centennial College. “Receiving a Canadian education and a Canadian diploma in China in addition to national Chinese certification is an international accomplishment and prepares students to meet the challenges of a global workforce. At our learning site, leaders are made, and dreams come true.”
International Business graduate Leon Nurxat reflected on this sense of accomplishment as he graduated with honours. “I think experience is the only thing that teaches us how to live our life better and learn from the past. My three years of experience here influenced my personality, my strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, my point of view about life. I found hope and purpose here. I see myself grown, with so much support, love and encouragement.”
In the past three years, Suzhou has hosted international students from India, South Korea, Côte d’Ivoire, Sweden, Uzbekistan and Mongolia. Some 120 Panamanian students graduated from Mandarin and Chinese cultural immersion programs. Centennial College has also sent five faculty-led international groups from Canadian business and hospitality programs to exchange best practices.
“Suzhou Centennial College graduates represent the new global generation, enabled and equipped to work with ease in international settings,” says Dr. Craig Stephenson, President of Centennial College in Toronto. “Our joint efforts have significant implications for Canadian students, too. They can take a semester in Suzhou, one of China’s fastest-growing cities. With a rich history and a high-tech future, Suzhou constitutes a highly attractive place to study or undertake an internship.”
Students at Suzhou Centennial College are immersed in a Canadian academic environment, from the engaging teaching methodologies and experiential learning to the knowledge and skills gained. Recent graduate, Belle Xinbei, describes how she learned valuable teamwork and collaboration skills while studying software engineering.
“One of the most unforgettable experiences to me was when the teacher led us to do a group project. We could express our opinions and ideas anytime and anywhere, and cooperate with each other,” she says. “This pleasant and efficient work experience also influenced my future career planning."
Toronto’s Centennial College began forging educational partnerships in China in 1996. Suzhou Centennial College was established in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s first public college, created under the direction of former Ontario Education Minister William Davis. Suzhou Centennial College is located in the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District about 100 km northwest of the metropolis of Shanghai.
For more information: www.centennialcollege.ca/Suzhou