Li Ka Shing Foundation Donates $1m Gift to Shantou/University of Manitoba Exchange

Sep 20, 2011 | Corporate Member News

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 University of Manitoba 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 being held today from 2 – 4:30 pm in Frederic Gaspard Theatre, 727 McDermot Avenue, University of Manitoba Bannatyne campus.

David Barnard

“The University of Manitoba is very grateful for the vision and support of Mr. Li Ka-shing, the Li Ka Shing Foundation and Husky Energy Inc. We thank the Li Ka Shing Foundation for today’s generous gift and are honoured to host Ms Solina Chau, and Dr. Frieda Law, Shantou University exchange program coordinator, to mark this auspicious occasion,” said Dr. David Barnard, University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor.

The partnership began in 2000 when Mr. Li Ka-shing visited the University of Manitoba to accept the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (IDEA) presented by the Associates of the Asper School of Business. Mr. Li, Chairman of Cheung Kong Group and founder of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, met with University of Manitoba representatives while in Winnipeg and later invited them to Hong Kong, and to visit Shantou University and discuss an academic collaboration.

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

“To the founder of our Foundation Mr. Li Ka-shing, it 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 Ms Chau. “For the students, in their pursuit of professional and academic excellence, it is a place for discovery and self discovery with a heightened sense of moral commitment to mankind and community. For the administrators and academics, Shantou University is all about coherent transformative changes that homed into resolving interlocking problems, making  good governance for academic freedom possible amidst the ideological entrenched backdrop still present today.”

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

Chinese medical student Shu-ru Chen is one such student. She has experienced Canadian patient care, research methods and physician training thanks to the trailblazing partnership between Shantou University, the University of Manitoba and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Chen completed family and emergency clinical electives in Winnipeg last year, and is currently participating in a B.Sc. Medicine (student research) program.

“We had the opportunity to see patients ‘hands-on’ and learn more about family medicine, which is new to China,” said Chen. “This experience dramatically expanded my academic skills and my personal development, and I gained knowledge and skills which I hope to share with others.”

Teresa Wawrykow [MD/05] completed a medical elective as part of the exchange.

“We focused on both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medical systems including acupuncture and the use of traditional medicinal plants,” she recalled.

“The opportunity to train in another country is valuable for both Canadian and Chinese medical students,” said Dr. Brian Postl, Dean of Medicine, University of Manitoba. “As these students embark on their clinical careers, the lessons learned through this exchange will help them serve their patients as more compassionate physicians.”

Contact Ilana Simon, Director of Communications & Marketing, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 204-789-3427, or C: 204-295-6777 or [email protected] 

About the Li Ka Shing Foundation

The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980 by global entrepreneur and philanthropist Li Ka-shing. Mr. Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it. To date, the Foundation has granted over HK$12.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in charitable donations.

The Foundation supports projects that propel social progress and create a cycle of charity in the world through expanding access to quality education and healthcare, encouraging cultural diversity and exploration, and stimulating community involvement and sustainable development. For more information, please visit: http://www.lksf.org/.

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