A Scholarship Ceremony was organized by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada on March 21, 2012 to recognize and celebrate the partnership between the Shanghai United Benefit Enterprise Group Ltd. (UBG) and UBC Forestry. This event was specially organized to recognize UBG’s contribution towards the United Benefit Group Fujian Forestry Scholarship. This is the first time in the history of the university that a mainland Chinese company has endowed a scholarship that funds mainland Chinese students to study at UBC.
The Chairman of UBG, Mr. Hanfeng Zheng; CEO, Mr. Bu Yue Wang; Deputy General Manager, Ms. Li Jing Zheng and Executive Assistant, Ms. Michelle Zeng were present at this ceremony, and were joined by esteemed guests such as Ms. Huanbai Xue, Counselor and Ms. Chunling Song from the Education Section of Consulate General of the P.R. of China in Vancouver and Mr. Guangchang Lin, President of the Canadian Fujianese Friendship Association. Also present at this event were students from Fujian province who are attending various courses at UBC Forestry under the 2+2 program that allows students to enroll in Forestry undergraduate programs for 2 years after they have completed 2 years of undergraduate studies in their respective Chinese universities.
Dr. John Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, in his opening remarks, said “It is particularly fitting that today we can celebrate the generosity of the United Benefit Group who have donated so that students from Fujian can come to UBC to obtain degrees in forestry and the forest-related disciplines offered by our Faculty. What is the significance of today? Today is World Forestry Day and I am delighted to be able to mark it in this way. What could be more appropriate than to acknowledge the international nature of forestry through an international gift that will benefit not only people but the forests and myriad forest products and services that they will later be responsible for managing?”
He went on to say: “Our research is really beginning to make a difference for the people who live in rural areas in China. The Director of UBC’s Centre for Asian Studies recently described our Faculty as being at least a year ahead of any other unit on campus in terms of the maturity of our relationship with China. The scholarship fund that we are setting up today is proof of this – it is the first time ever that a mainland Chinese organization has gifted money to UBC for the benefit of students from mainland China. As the leading forestry school in the world, we have an important role to play in training people to look after the world’s forests which, I would remind you all, cover a third of the Earth’s land surface. The Earth’s forests not only play a critical role in helping to regulate the Earth’s climate, but they also provide many goods and services, including the world’s greenest building materials.”
This partnership is just a small step towards the numerous efforts that UBC Forestry has made to build strong, successful relationships with Asia and also a humble beginning to many more collaborations that will enhance forestry education around the world.
United Benefit Group (UBG)
Originally from the Fujian province in China, United Benefit Group (UBG) is a comprehensive multinational company specializing in electrical products manufacturing, real estate development, international trade, ocean shipping, and building materials development.
Established in 1951, the Faculty of Forestry at UBC holds the privilege of being the leading forestry school in the world and the largest in Canada. UBC Forestry offers programs, both undergraduate and graduate, that cover all aspects of the management of forests and the use of the products that are derived from them.
UBC has been ranked #25 among the world’s best universities this year.
The Asian Connection
UBC Faculty of Forestry has a long history of cooperative relations with many Asian countries, including China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The cooperation with China has been developed through various ways, including partnership with the state Forestry Administration, provincial governments, universities, research institutes. The research projects covers from establishing China’s National Sustainable Forestry Management System, the climate change and sustainable forest management, watershed management, wood application and building materials, to local poverty reduction and forestry education collaboration. Programs with Nanjing Forestry University, Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University, Beijing Forestry University have been played very significant roles among all the cooperation projects with China. Since the first Chinese transfer student was accepted in 2008, there have been more than 40 students coming to UBC with 100% retention rate. Currently, 32 students in China are working toward transfer to UBC in this coming fall.