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Li Ka Shing Foundation donates $1M gift to Shantou exchange
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:20 AM
On the 10th anniversary of the Shantou University-University of Manitoba academic exchange, the Li Ka Shing Foundation has committed another $1 Million gift to the U of M to build on the Chinese/Canadian partnership and enhance the exchange program.

The generous gift was announced by Ms. Solina Chau, Director of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, at the “Ten Years of Building Bridges in Medical Education and Research” symposium held September 20 in Frederic Gaspard Theatre at Bannatyne Campus.

She described the importance of the partnership by providing an overview of Shantou University, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Chau noted it is a comprehensive university with eight disciplines, including a medical school, and is a privately funded public university, a model unique in China. It the only university in the eastern part of the Guangdong area (known as ChiuChow to the Chinese), home to 15 million people.

“To the founder of our Foundation, Mr. Li Ka Shing, [Shantou University] is the realization of a dream—a dream that he could attract like-minded individuals and academics devoted to reforming  and building a new model of higher institution in China,” said Chau.

“On behalf of our Chairman and all of us from Li Ka Shing Foundation and Shantou University, we would like to express our deep appreciation for the support from the University of Manitoba in building this dream, the achievements we made together the last 10 years will be continued and built upon. Mr. Li has asked me to share with President Barnard this morning that our foundation will top up the $2 million Canadian endowment fund granted to support this initiative, with an additional $1 million Canadian dollars,” she announced.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation contributed $1 million in 2003 to support the exchange program and, in 2007, another $1 million contribution came from Husky Energy Inc. Today’s gift, bringing the total to $3 million, continues to develop the partnership, fostering greater cooperation between both universities.

“We thank the Li Ka Shing Foundation for its support and today’s generous gift, and look forward to continuing our transformative partnership,” said David Barnard, U of M president and vice-chancellor. “I’d like to give a special thanks to Mr. Li Ka-shing. Without his courage, compassion, and innovative vision, none of this would be possible.”

Barnard noted that the the hallmark of any friendship is commitment. “With that in mind, I want to thank the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Husky Energy Inc., my counterpart, Shantou President Dr. Xiaohu Xu, Dr. Frieda Law, Dr. Patrick Choy and all participants from Shantou University and the University of Manitoba for their support, passion and dedication to this partnership.”

Over the past decade, more than 100 medical students, residents, researchers and faculty members have participated in the visionary Shantou University-U of M academic exchange program—broadening their perspectives on one another’s cultures, medical treatments, research and education.

Speakers at the symposium included Frieda Law, Shantou exchange coordinator; Dr. Patrick Choy, U of M exchange coordinator; Dr. Clayton Dyck, U of M Deputy coordinator; Shantou Medical student/participant Shu-ru Chen; and U of M participant as both student and resident, Teresa Wawrykow.

“We sincerely thank the Li Ka Shing Foundation for its great support over the last 10 years and today’s new $1 M gift,” said Choy. “We also want to acknowledge and express our gratitude to Dr. Frieda Law and Shantou University for their commitment to our successful academic exchange program and look forward to our 20th anniversary celebration.”

Brian Postl, dean of Medicine, said the Shantou University/U of M academic exchange provides powerful learning experiences for everyone involved that cross language, culture and discipline. Through the exchange, clinician scientists have a chance to work with internationally renowned researchers and faculty can teach and learn new skills in both countries.

“The opportunity to train in another country is valuable for both Canadian and Chinese medical students,” said Postl. “As these students embark on their clinical careers, the lessons learned through this exchange will help them serve their patients as more compassionate physicians.”
For more information, contact:
Ilana Simon
Director of Communications & Marketing
Faculty of Medicine
Phone: (204) 789-3427