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President Judith Woodsworth recently returned from a Quebec trade mission to India led by Premier Jean Charest with eight agreements to expand, renew or develop partnerships between Concordia and educational institutions there.
Woodsworth, along with Associate Vice-President International Affairs Liselyn Adams and Robert Fews, recently appointed as Special Aerospace Advisor to the Dean of Engineering and Computer Science, were among the representatives of the province’s business, education and research communities that spent a week in India. Two members of the Board of Governors were also part of the mission: the Honorable Baljit Chadha and James Cherry.
The increasing importance India has for Quebec is illustrated by the fact that Charest’s first trade mission to India, in 2006, involved 30 delegates, compared to the 130 public and private sector participants on this year’s trip.
Concordia has had longstanding ties to India, with several agreements already in place (for some examples, see Journal, Feb. 14, 2008). “I am delighted to have expanded Concordia’s linkages with institutions in India, which will enable us to share expertise and build research capacity in both countries,” said Woodsworth. “Under our agreement with TERI [The Energy and Resources Institute], to take just one example, researchers will be working on climate change, biofuels and sustainable business, all recognized areas of strength here at Concordia.”
Woodsworth was also able to meet with Concordia alumni while on the trip. By continuing to maintain ties with graduates and forging ties with educational institutions, she hopes that more people will choose to study here.
Adams has frequently traveled to India on behalf of the university and had gone earlier to prepare some of the agreements finalized during the trip. Woodsworth’s first trip to India was in 1984 when she was a translation professor at Concordia.
In diaries on her web site she recalled, “In translation studies of the day, we tended to be concerned primarily with the linguistic, social and political implications of bilingualism in Canada. How fascinating it was to discover a multilingual country in which the constitution recognizes not two, but 18 official languages.”
Woodsworth further reflected on these connections when she attended the inauguration of a Québec Studies centre in Delhi during her recent trip. “It is fascinating to see the interest, in India and worldwide, in the study of Québec – perhaps because we provide an interesting case study in the relations between language, culture, and politics, and an example of the way in which a strong cultural identity can emerge while multiple linguistic, ethnic and cultural realities coexist in a relatively harmonious manner.”
To read Woodsworth’s diaries from her trip, see her website.
Overview of agreements signed