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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 world.

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.”

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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