UBC Reports | Vol.
51 | No. 4 |
Apr. 7, 2005
UBC Opens Asia-Pacific Office
By Brian Lin
UBC’s latest international foray will capitalize on
the university’s substantial strengths in the Asia-Pacific
region for stronger partnerships and more opportunities for
students, faculty and alumni to thrive in today’s competitive
The Asia-Pacific Regional Office (APRO), set to open on May
3, 2005 in Hong Kong, marks the first time a Canadian university
has established a permanent presence of this magnitude in
the region. It will address UBC’s various needs in the
region, including student services and recruitment, development
and alumni relations.
“APRO is a testament to UBC’s appreciation of
the extraordinary growth and resolve in working with the region’s
private, public and academic sectors,” says Ken McGillivray,
Director of the Office of UBC International and Acting Associate
Vice President, International.
“It is also closely aligned with the internationalization
pillar of Trek 2010, the university’s mission statement.
It’s so critical because it ties into the pre-eminent
concept of promoting global citizenship.
“UBC is Canada’s leading university in Asian
Pacific issues,” says McGillivray, who will host President
Martha Piper, Vice President, Students, Brian Sullivan, several
deans, selected faculty and alumni from the entire region
at the official
“By establishing a permanent presence in the region,
we’re extending our academic and research expertise
and strong alumni links to support UBC’s various efforts
in the area, as well as creating new opportunities that will
help our students become global citizens.”
In addition to establishing the Asia-Pacific Alumni Network,
collaborating with regional universities through linkages
such as Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim
Universities, the APRO will also continue to work with local
and regional organizations, businesses, non-governmental organizations
and governmental agencies to identify opportunities for experiential
and service learning for UBC students in the Asia Pacific.
“The aim is for even more UBC students to incorporate
the international experience, through service learning, co-op
placement or mobility exchange programs, into their post-secondary
experience,” says McGillivray.
While a small existing office -- established in 1999 and
one of the most active UBC alumni chapters around the world
- has served as an excellent portal to UBC’s activities
in the region, a larger permanent presence is important given
the cultural context of the region which places so much emphasis
on relationship building, McGillivray adds.
“The ‘drop-in’ approach of sending delegations
there a few times a year is not the way to do business in
the region,” says McGillivray. “Part of the strength
-- and more importantly, the expectation -- of the region,
is the development of relationships, particularly personal
relationships. It really places the UBC stamp in the hearts
and mind of our clients.”