Sobey School News

Congratulations to the 4th cohort of graduates from the BNUZ-SMU Joint Bachelor of Commerce Program

Date Published: June 28, 2021


Since launching in 2014, the partnership between Saint Mary’s University and Beijing Normal University Zhuhai (BNUZ) has graduated nearly 300 outstanding students through the BNUZ-SMU Joint Bachelor of Commerce Program.

This past weekend, 63 students graduated from the program with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Sobey School of Business and a Bachelor of Economics degree from BNUZ. Of the graduates, 58 were awarded a major in Finance. This is the fourth cohort to graduate from the Joint BComm Program, which is based entirely in Zhuhai, China. Students in this program receive a truly international education, with half of their courses delivered by visiting SMU faculty and the other half taught by faculty members of BNUZ.

Dr. Harjeet Bhabra, Dean of the Sobey School of Business, highlighted the impact of this international learning experience in his congratulatory message to this year’s graduating cohort: “Your educational experience has provided you with a uniquely international perspective that will allow you to become business leaders as you embark on your careers. While we wish we could celebrate your achievements with you in Zhuhai, we are proud to welcome you to the global alumni community and we send our best wishes for your continued success.”

Special congratulations go to the 16 students who graduated with distinction (5 cum laude, 8 magna cum laude and 3 summa cum laude) and to the 17 students who have earned a place on the Dean’s List for their final academic year. Of the 63 graduates, 47 will go on to pursue postgraduate studies. Forty students have already accepted offers from respected universities in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and China. Some well-known schools include the University of Glasgow, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Sydney and University College London.

Prof. Zhong Xin, Dean of the International Business Faculty at BNUZ, says the graduates have all benefitted from the program’s international focus and congratulates them on their outstanding work: “You have demonstrated your growth with actions, studied hard, overcome difficulties and forged ahead together. I wish you a happy graduation. Ride the wind and the waves – the future is bright and promising.”

The BNUZ-SMU Joint Bachelor of Commerce Program was born out of a longstanding partnership between Saint Mary’s University and Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai. This partnership dates back to 2002 and has included a range of 2+2 programs in Arts, Business and Science, as well as a number of other exchange programs and summer institutes for students, faculty and members of the community.

Since 2016, over 40 faculty members from the Sobey School of Business and SMU Faculty of Arts have travelled to Zhuhai to teach in the Joint BComm Program, further strengthening the friendships and academic initiatives between members of both institutions. Sonya Rice, Part-Time Lecturer in the Department of Finance, Information Systems and Management Science (FISMS), who first visited BNUZ in 2012 as a student in the International Chinese Studies program, says “I am so proud of each student graduating this year – they have not only succeeded in an intensive and rigorous program but also overcame the additional challenges of online learning.” Dr. Rahman Khokhar, Associate Professor of Finance in the Department of Finance, Information Systems and Management Science, says he was “honoured to be part of the learning journey of the dedicated and hardworking 2017 Cohort,” and is “positive that this group is ready to make a meaningful difference to the world.”

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing global pandemic, faculty and administrators from Saint Mary’s University were unable to celebrate this year’s graduates in person in Zhuhai. We honour the achievements of the graduates and extend our warmest welcome to the newest members of our alumni community.

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