Nova Scotia students will have more opportunity to further their studies in China, thanks to new scholarships announced today, Sept. 12, by Premier Stephen McNeil in Shandong province, China. Government and Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization, will fund five $5,000 scholarships each year for the next three years. “For years, students from China have come to Nova Scotia to attend university, study, and conduct research,” said Premier McNeil. “These scholarships will offer Nova Scotia students the same opportunity in China, and will help strengthen the long-standing relationship between Nova Scotia and Shandong province.” The scholarships will help senior undergraduate and graduate students complete research internships at universities in Shandong province. “This partnership will encourage the exchange of research knowledge and innovation between Canada and China,” said Mitacs CEO and scientific director Alejandro Adem. “It will also provide new opportunities for graduate students and faculty from Nova Scotia’s universities.” Government will invest $45,000 in the scholarship program and Mitacs will invest $30,000. On Sunday, Sept. 11, Premier McNeil signed a twinning agreement with Governor Guo Shuqing, of Shandong province. This type of agreement between governments is an important step in building relationships and will help lead to increased opportunities for Nova Scotia businesses and institutions. Nova Scotia launched a China engagement strategy in April, with a vision to deepen and broaden Nova Scotia’s engagement with China by promoting and building mutually beneficial trade, investment, business, political, educational and cultural relationships. The strategy’s three major elements are to focus on our competitive strengths, to build and strengthen relationships in China and to coordinate activities at home and in China.