During the PIE webinar, St Clair College’s director of international education, Nathaniel Veltkamp said, “Going to these large institutions where you’re another number compared to a name on a first name basis on some of these other college campuses, I think a lot of international students like that personal feeling.”
He also stated that this “family feel”, where everybody is on a first name basis is something that students appreciate, and could be a “big selling point” for students coming to Canada for their studies.
Another panelist at the PIE webinar, Scott Slaney of Niagara College, agreed to Veltkmap’s statement and said that this personal feeling would be key to gaining international students’ trust.
“We have our various programs getting students out into the community, undertaking volunteer activities. Volunteerism is not necessarily a globally common thing, but it’s very common here in Canada and it really helps to establish a much stronger network.” said Slanley.
Stanley also added that Ontario is very dependent on skilled migrant workers, and a major component of that are international students. There are various post study programs that allow them to stay in Canada after graduation to contribute to the labor force.
Lyndon Ashton, who heads the R&I at Niagara College said that Ontario colleges need to think entrepreneurially. Ontario colleges evolved around this concept of satisfying workforce development needs.
“We take that to another level when we look at how we strategically direct and then operate our innovation centers and our applied research programming, where there is always a student, always an industry partner and always a subject matter expert or experts involved. And if we ensure that that ethos is there, then we know that we’re filling our economy, our workforce and our talent at all mandates,” Ashton said.
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