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OISE signs historic agreement on teacher education with Shanghai Normal University


By Jennifer O'Reilly

March 23, 2012

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE), entered into a historic partnership with Shanghai Normal University (SHNU) on March 20 with the signing of an agreement that will provide significant benefits to both institutions. The memorandum of agreement was signed by Professor Minxuan Zhang, President of SHNU, and OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan.

OISE Registrar Don MacMillan and Dean O’Sullivan travelled to China last November, and met with the Dean of Shanghai Normal University to explore ways increase the enrolment of SHNU graduates in OISE’s B.Ed. program.

“Internationalizing the B.Ed. program will increase opportunities for international students, educational leaders and for OISE students. Down the road this relationship will help OISE expand internship opportunities in China for our own students,” said Don MacMillan.

Both institutions anticipate increased collaborations at the graduate level and more opportunities for teachers-in-training and school leaders in both China and Canada. Some of the benefits that could be realized include: Ontario College of Teachers certification for SHNU graduates; access to customized educational programs at OISE for practicing teachers and higher education administrators from China; enrichment of national and local school systems in Shanghai resulting from Canadian training for SHNU graduates; and, providing more opportunities for OISE teacher candidates to learn about cultural diversity first-hand.

Previously known as Shanghai Teachers Training College, Shanghai Normal University is a public university. A key university in Shanghai city, SHNU is recognized for teacher training and liberal arts, focusing on undergraduate education.

Professor Minxuan Zhang (PHD, University of Hong Kong) is currently President of Shanghai Normal University and Director of the Center for International Education Study in the Ministry of Education of China. His research interests include international organizations, public policies in education and teachers’ professional development.