March 20, 2023

Staff from the Office of the Vice-Provost International (OVPI) headed to Thailand to make personal connections with global partners on behalf of UBC at the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) 2023 conference from March 13 to 17 in Bangkok. This year's gathering marked the first in-person conference since the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting the Government of Canada's new Indo-Pacific Strategy, the aim was to forge partnerships in Thailand and Southeast Asia while positioning UBC as a world-leading centre of teaching, learning and research excellence.

"Our role is advancing the university's global engagement agenda," said Cheryl Dumaresq, OVPI and Go Global Managing Director. "We talked with partners about enhancing the quality of our international programs, such as student exchange, and explored solutions to global issues along the lines of sustainable development, international development and capacity building."

Left to right: OVPI's Cheryl Dumaresq and Haochen Li met with Ambassador Dr. Sarah Talyor at the Embassy of Canada to Thailand (photo: Haochen Li/UBC)

Dumaresq and others from UBC joined 2,000 participants at the conference, attending some 40 meetings over three days. They sat down with representatives of universities, colleges and government agencies from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, the U.S and Vietnam. 

OVPI's Global Partnerships unit is expanding its collaborations with Indo-Pacific allies because the launch of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy has added momentum and opportunities for Canadian higher education institutions to collaborate with institutions in the region, Dumaresq said. The OVPI team visited the Embassy of Canada to Thailand and met with Ambassador Dr. Sarah Talyor to discuss various opportunities with Thai institutions.

The Faculty of Education’s English Language Institute consolidated existing partnerships and developed new ones during and after the conference, for example: Thailand's Thammasat University and Kasetsart University; Komozawa University of Japan;; National Taipei University of Business; University of Hong Kong; and several others, including Thai Senator Anuporn Aroonrut.

(Left to right) Haochen Li, Global Partnerships; Caroline Lai, UBC Vancouver Summer Program Director; and Cheryl Dumaresq, OVPI/Go Global Managing Director met with global partners at the APAIE conference in Bangkok (photo: Haochen Li/UBC)

Attending this year's APAIE conference with Dumaresq were Haochen Li of the Global Partnerships team; UBC Vancouver Summer Program Director Caroline Lai; from Go Global, James Leeder, Lucy O’Regan and Dana Lowton (UBCO); UBC Vantage College's Suzie Lavallee; and from the English Language Institute, Andrew Scales and Liliana Castaneda.

OVPI's Cheryl Dumaresq (left) and Haochen Li (right) met with university representatives to expand UBC's collaboration with Indo-Pacific allies (photo: Haochen Li/UBC)

Find out more about the work of OVPI's Global Partnerships team.

Read about a recent online best practices workshop with UBC and Vietnam university administrators.