UBC - Southwest University of Politics and Law (SWUPL) Undergraduate Research Forum

About the program

Theme: Transportation Policy, Regional Development and Environment.

Forum Dates: May 9 - 15 2020

Where: Southwest University of Politics and Law (SWUPL), Chongqing, China 

A one week, wellfunded, student forum for undergraduate students. This is an opportunity to collaborate with students from UBC and SWUPL to come together and co-create original research. With mixed-teams involving students from both universities, the forum consists of the following:

  • Expert Lectures & discussions
  • Group work based on different topics
  • Pre-assignment to prepare for group work
  • Field trips around Chongqing
  • Final presentations at SWUPL
  • Final individual report

Theme: Transportation Policy, Regional Development and Environment

Program Directors:

Dr. Anming Zhang, UBC

Dr. Jie Qin, SWUPL

Transportation is growing rapidly in China, generating significant impacts on Chinese cities and regions and on environment. For instance, its high-speed rail (HSR) has seen a rapid development during the past decade, now accounting for 70% of the world's HSR network. Its annual investment on HSR is now over (US)$100 billion. China has also invested heavily in urban transit lines in its metropolitan areas. Between 2010 and 2017, the total length of subway increased from 1,167 km to 3,882 km. In 2017, the annual investment in transit lines was $70.4 billion. There are 43 cities constructing transit lines, with a total length of 6,246 km under-construction. Another example is air transportation. About 60 new airports have been constructed over the past decade, increasing the number of airports in China from 140 in 2006 to more than 229 in 2017.

Against this backdrop are the rapid urbanization and the recent Chinese government's "One belt, one road" (OBOR) initiative, as well as in 2020, the 5-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, signatories are scheduled to update their national commitments to the UN pact. The OBOR program focuses on promoting connectivity and creating new trading routes passing through over 71 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The city of Chongqing plays an important role in this OBOR initiative.

This Forum will review and critically assess these developments and their impacts on cities and regional developments and on environment. Topics include: important issues in transportation and environment (e.g., policies on electric vehicles, and developments in tradable permits and other policy measures to deal with city congestion); HSR developments; subway developments in Chongqing; mitigation and adaptation policies in transportation to deal with climate change; and OBOR. The experiences and policies in Canada, the US and Europe are also discussed and compared.


Conditions for Selection of Participants

Undergraduate students or graduate students are eligible to apply, though priority will be given to senior undergraduate students. Successful applicants should demonstrate a strong academic performance, interest and experiences in extra-curricular activities, and be a good team-player. They must fulfil all of the following requirements:

  • Approximately 15 participants each from UBC will be selected (to be joined by 15 SWUPL students)
  • Proficient enough in English to prepare materials, participate in discussions, and deliver presentations
  • Highly motivated students who possess a strong interest in the applicable year’s forum theme. Prior to the forum, participants should prepare themselves for fruitful discussion by researching on a specific topic of their interest relevant to the main theme
  • Students with previous year’s academic score above 70% will be given priority
  • Students that have graduated in the last 2 years and have unclassified student status may also apply, but priority consideration will be given to current students
  • Have not received Go Global funding in the past beyond the $1000 Go Global award

Cost and fees

Participation Fee: $415.00 (Go Global Fee)

The UBC-SWUPL Student Forum will bear the costs for:

  • Flight costs
  • Accommodation expenses in Chongqing
  • A few meals will be provided throughout the conference, but students should expect to bear the majority of food costs
  • Field trip fees

Participants are responsible for the following expenses:

  • Meals
  • Incidental expenses at accommodation
  • Passport and Visa acquisition fees
  • Travel insurance

How to apply

Apply by January 30, 2020 @ 4PM

Complete the application online through Go Global's Gateway system, including a statement of intent, and upload your CV.

Your Statement of Intent (500 words maximum) should address the following:

Your motivation for joining this program

How this program will benefit you in your current academic program and support your career goals

Any experience working on a team

Leadership skills

Your interest and/or experience in community engagement or service

Selected students will be notified by mid-February.