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University of Toronto and China

  • U of T’s relationship with China spans over 130 years and is more robust than that of any other Canadian university. U of T welcomed its first Chinese students in 1909. In 1930, the University established academic programs on Chinese art, culture, history and society. And in 1938, Dr. Norman Bethune helped to create many partnerships between U of T and medical institutions in China. In 1943, the School of Chinese Studies was established (now U of T’s Department of East Asian Studies), and in 1956, U of T’s Chinese Students Association was founded. During the early 1980’s when China was transitioning into a market economy, Canada was the only western country to make education a cornerstone of its cooperation, and U of T was part of a group of Canadian higher education institutions that supported Chinese universities with their adaptation to the changing economic environment.

    U of T is home to 11,544 international students from China in addition to the thousands of students of Asian heritage who grew up in Toronto’s multicultural metropolitan region. These students enrich and contribute to U of T’s global atmosphere. Additionally, China is home to thousands of U of T alumni and friends who continue to support its students and faculty to engage China on a number of fronts from launching start-ups to navigating socio-cultural dynamics.

    U of T’s activities with China include academic programs (ranging from joint courses to joint placement for PhDs), joint research collaborations and institutes, and providing executive and custom programs for leading institutions.  China is the only Asian country in U of T’s top 10 for co-authored publications and U of T collaborates with eight of the C9 League institutions.

    Please note: The country and institutional pages of this website provide but a sampling of the rich and deep relationships that the U of T community enjoys with many countries, institutions and communities around the world.

  • Across the University of Toronto

    • The Green Path Program is a preparatory program that partners U of T Scarborough with elite high schools in 25 Chinese cities. During the summer, Green Path students live and study on campus and participate in a specialized 12-week program to prepare them for undergraduate life at U of T. After successful completion of the program, they begin their first-year in management, computer science, sociology, life sciences, mathematics or physics. More than 1,400 students have successfully completed the program since it began in 2005.
    • Since 2008, the Summer Abroad Program at Fudan University has provided students from both institutions with a unique, intensive look at critical international issues from Western and Chinese perspectives. Entitled Transforming Global Politics: Comparative and Chinese Perspectives, the program is hosted and co-taught by Fudan University. Students spend two weeks in Shanghai attending intensive classes and then one week in Beijing.

    Faculty for Applied Science & Engineering

    • U of T’s Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) has a robust relationship with the School of Aeronautics & Astronautics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). SJTU students can pursue a Master’s degree in aerospace engineering at U of T.
    • Annually, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, China’s national aircraft manufacturer sends employees to attend U of T’s Masters of Engineering program for one year as full-time students.

    School of Environment

    • U of T’s School of the Environment works with the 6 Chinese institutions on terrestrial carbon cycle monitoring and modeling.

    Faculty of Medicine

    • Peking University is one of the inaugural international partners for U of T’s Medicine by Design Initiative. A $114-million grant from the federal government allows U of T and its network of hospitals to collaborate with their international partners to design and manufacture cells, tissues and organs that can be used to treat degenerative diseases.
    • In 2015, a new agreement was signed with Zhejiang University to establish the Joint Centre for Genetics Research and Education to promote basic and translational research on human genetics and genomics. The Joint Centre will recruit PhD students with joint educational placement at both universities.
    • The Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences (SIBS) is a leading biological research institute founded in China in 1999 and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the national academy for sciences research. U of T helped SIBS establish its mouse embryonic stem cell gene-targeting core facility. These collaborations have resulted in the publication of multiple, co-authored research papers in leading journals. U of T faculty members serve on SIBS’ Scientific Advisory Board and mentor several SIBS junior faculty members.
    • The Ontario-China Stem Cell Research & Commercialization Partnership was launched in 2013 with funding from the Ontario China Research & Innovation Fund, Ministry of Economic Development & Innovation, Ontario and the Ministry of Science & Technology, China. The partnership has since been amalgamated with the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. U of T’s Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) is the commercialization lead bringing together key regenerative medicine partners from its industry consortium.
    • The Department of Family and Community Medicine at U of T is working with Fudan University to build China’s education capacity in primary health care and public health.

    Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

    • The Sino-Canadian Laboratories for Human Development are housed at U of T’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and China’s Zhejiang Normal University. At these labs, researchers collaborate on early childhood development, neural development, education and mental health research.

    Rotman School of Management

    • Rotman School of Management’s Executive Programs offer an annual executive program at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Overseas Education College. The Global Executive MBA program in partnership with Fudan University and City University of Hong Kong offers international senior managers 2-week residence modules in key business centres, including Shanghai and Hong Kong.
    • In the summer of 2015, the Rotman School of Management celebrated the 11th anniversary of the finance-related executive program offered to high-level Chinese financial officials. This program is customized for senior financial sector regulators, senior government officials in charge of financial matters and senior executives in the financial services sector to learn about financial innovation and risk management. To date, the program has attracted over 300 participants.

Degree students

(Fall 2015)

Student mobility

Inbound & Outbound


1, 459
(Jul. 2016)

Joint publications

Co-authored Research