On the morning of June 24, the opening ceremony of the Alberta Institute, Wenzhou Medical University was held in the lecture hall of the Biomedical Research Building on WMU campus. Chen Weijun, member of the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee, Chen Genfang, Secretary-General of the Party Committee and Director of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education, Jean-Christian Brillant, Deputy Consul General & Senior Trade Commissioner of Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, Wang Jun, member of the Standing Committee of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee and Secretary-General of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee, Tang Xiaoshu, Deputy Mayor of Wenzhou Municipal People's Government, Lu Fan, Chancellor of Wenzhou Medical University and Li Xiaokun, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of Wenzhou Medical University, attended the opening ceremony. David H. Turpin, President of the University of Alberta (UoA), Cen Huang, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Brenda Hemmelgarn, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Dennis Kunimoto, Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs of Medicine & Dentistry, and other Canadian representatives attended the ceremony online. Fang Jun, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education, delivered a video speech.
Leaders from the Ministry of Education, Canadian Consulate-General in Shanghai, Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education, Wenzhou Municipal Government, Wenzhou Medical University, and the University of Alberta delivered speeches.
Fang Jun, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education
WMU is a university with distinctive characteristics, and UoA is a leader in medical education in Canada. I hope that both sides will innovate the school running mode, improve the quality of school running, propel the cultivation of international high-level talents to a higher level, promote the construction of “Double First-Class” initiative (world-class universities and first-class disciplines), lead the reform of medical education and the training of medical talents in China, and cultivate a group of outstanding future scientists with a global outlook.
Jean-Christian Brillant, Deputy Consul General & Senior Trade Commissioner of Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai
Canada and Zhejiang Province enjoy very close educational exchanges, with a variety of exchange partnerships and cooperative school running projects, which have strengthened mutual understanding of each others’ values and cultures between China and Canada. WMU is one of the largest and most dynamic institutions of higher education in clinical medicine in Zhejiang Province. It's nice to see these two universities promote internationalization together. The Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai will pay close attention to the construction and development of the Alberta Institute and strive to promote international educational exchanges between Canada and Zhejiang Province.
Chen Genfang, Secretary-General of the Party Committee and Director of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education
The cooperation between Wenzhou Medical University and the University of Alberta to establish Alberta Institute, Wenzhou Medical University, is not only a successful example of cooperation in the field of higher education, but also will play an active role in promoting people-to-people exchanges between China and Canada. In particular, during the global fight against COVID-19, the cooperation between the two universities on medical scientific research plays a significant exemplary role in inspiring more governments, enterprises, and universities to uphold partnership, strengthen cooperation, promote mutual support, and achieve a shared future. It is hoped that both sides will strengthen cooperation and exchanges, strive for win-win and mutual benefit, and jointly make greater contributions to human medical research and the cultivation of high-level talents. The Provincial Department of Education will fully support the construction and development of the Alberta Institute, Wenzhou Medical University in accordance with the standards of first-class universities.
Tang Xiaoshu, Wenzhou Municipal People's Government
Wenzhou Medical University and the University of Alberta will certainly draw on each other’s strengths and achieve mutual benefit. I hope that through bold and creative cooperation, the two universities will integrate resources and develop characteristics in running schools, turning the Alberta Institute of Wenzhou Medical University into an important window for showing the achievements of high-level Chinese-foreign cooperation in running schools.
Lu Fan, Chancellor of Wenzhou Medical University
The establishment of the Alberta Institute, Wenzhou Medical University embodies several keywords: First, innovation and breakthrough. The Institute provides the most comprehensive degree programs among all Chinese-foreign cooperatively-run medical schools in China and is the first Chinese-foreign cooperatively-run school focusing on clinical medicine in China. The establishment of the Institute is not only a bold and innovative breakthrough of the two universities, but also a beneficial exploration of medical education cooperation between China and Canada. Second, trust and vitality. The Institute is a result of a high degree of trust between the two universities as well as the trust and support of the Ministry of Education, the provincial Party committee and the provincial government, the provincial education department, the municipal Party committee and the municipal government. Governor of Zhejiang province Yuan Jiajun made a special instruction of "Be brave in innovation, strive for distinction, contribute more achievements, and cultivate more talents". We will earnestly implement the spirit of instruction and make the Institute an important window for China-Canada education cooperation. Third, mission and sentiment. The exchanges and cooperation between the two universities have a far-reaching history, with highly overlapping missions and goals in the fields of faculty training, talent cultivation, scientific research, etc. Both sides will work together to reform and innovate the medical education mode and management mechanism, and cultivate high-level medical innovative talents with humanistic feelings, scientific spirit, and an international vision.
David H. Turpin, President of the University of Alberta
I am very glad that the two universities combine our best to jointly build the Alberta Institute, Wenzhou Medical University. The two universities have a very good foundation for cooperation. Today, our cooperation has reached a new level. With the global spread of the new coronavirus, the two universities need to further strengthen cooperation and work together in the medical field to overcome the epidemic. I firmly believe that the cooperation between the two universities will be very successful.
Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and WMU President Li Xiaokun presided over the ceremony.
At present, Albert Institute has hired a number of top national experts and scholars to form an advisory committee, including 13 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, such as Wang Chen, academician and vice president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Zhan Qimin, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and executive vice president of Peking University, Chen Guoqiang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and vice president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shi Yigong, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of Westlake University, Shen Hongbing, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of Nanjing Medical University, together with Qu Jia, director of the National Clinical Research Center for Ophthalmic Disease. In the near future, more academicians and experts will be appointed as consultants to jointly plan the construction and development of the Institute from the Chinese and even international strategic landscape of medical development.
Before the opening ceremony, Wenzhou Medical University held a forum on Chinese-Foreign Medical Education Cooperation. Professor Li Xinmin, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry from the University of Alberta, Professor Song Weihong, academician of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Professor Shao Li from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Professor Ouyang Hongwei, dean of ZJU－UoE Institute, Zhejiang University, and other experts and scholars at home and abroad gave keynote speeches on topics such as medical education in the era of artificial intelligence, international scientific research cooperation in university education, and challenges and reflections on Chinese-foreign cooperative school running in clinical medicine.
Alberta Institute, Wenzhou Medical University was approved by the Ministry of Education in April 2020 and was jointly established by Wenzhou Medical University and the University of Alberta, Canada. Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and WMU President Li Xiaokun is appointed as the Dean, and Brenda Hemmelgarn, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry of UoA is appointed as Vice Dean. Alberta Institute will focus on the integration of high-quality educational resources of both sides, reform the traditional medical education model, adopt the North American organ system to integrate curriculum, and build a teaching evaluation system combining the characteristics of both sides, so as to provide students with world-class elite medical professional education and cultivate high-level, interdisciplinary, innovative, and outstanding medical talents with an international vision. The Institute will continue to explore the integration of Chinese medical education and international standards, create a model of cooperation between China and Canada in higher medical education, and promote China-Canada people-to-people exchanges and scientific research cooperation.
The institute will start its first batch of enrollment this year, offering an undergraduate program in clinical medicine, Master's programs in dentistry, psychiatry, and doctoral program in psychiatry. The total scale of the Institute will reach 395 students, of which 60 undergraduates and 25 postgraduates are enrolled each year. After graduation, both WMU and UoA will issue corresponding degree certificates to students. The doctoral program will enroll 5 students each year and UoA will issue degree certificates in psychiatry after graduation.
The University of Alberta was founded in 1908. It is a world-renowned university and Canada's top research university. It is a founding member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and a member of the Global University Alliance. As a leader in Canadian medical education, the University of Alberta has ranked among the top five research-intensive universities in Canada for many years, and is a global leader in research in the fields of psychiatry, virology, diabetes, cancer, heart, etc. It ranked 89th in CWUR World University Rankings 2019-2020, top 100 in clinical medicine, 23rd in nursing, and 50th in pharmacy in 2020 QS World University Rankings. It has cultivated many medical elites including Nobel Prize winners, and many of its professors are members of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Canada. The passing rate of certified medical practitioners of UoA graduates ranks first in Canada.