John Potts, UFV Manager of International Partnerships, will be in Dublin, Ireland, from September 12 to 14 and in London, UK, from October 4 to 6 to attend key higher education events.
In Dublin, Potts will attend the annual European Association for International Education conference to network and exchange knowledge with partner universities and other associates involved in the delivery of higher education.
“We have longstanding ties with institutions in Europe, Asia, and Australia,” Potts says. “Many of them will be at the conference and it will be an opportunity to meet face-to-face to review or develop partnerships.”
A recent national report released by the Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy recommends that by 2022, Canada should introduce a student mobility program to create opportunities for 50,000 Canadian students a year to study abroad.
“There’s a growing awareness that studying abroad equips our Canadian students with important cross-cultural and problem-solving skills that are crucial to compete in the global knowledge economy and become savvier world citizens,” says Potts. “If we are to send large numbers of Canadian youth to study overseas, creating and nurturing partnerships with other universities is key.”
In 2012, through the UFV Study Abroad program, 26 UFV students went to study in Ireland and the UK at partner universities. Another 22 travelled to other European destinations. In return, twenty nine European students, three from Ireland, and nine from the UK, came to study at UFV.
‘Traditionally, European students have come to UFV on an exchange program for one or two semesters,” says Potts. “But recently, we have seen a surge of students interested in completing full degrees in Canada.”
As part of his visit to the UK, Potts will attend the Student World Fair in London’s Wembley Stadium, where he will have the opportunity to meet students who plan to earn a credential at a Canadian university.
“Canada is a natural fit as a study abroad destination for UK students,” Potts explains. “They can study in English, earn a degree recognized worldwide, and capitalize on the work opportunities offered both before and after graduation. “
“We find that European students at UFV are most attracted to the humanities, social sciences, arts, media studies and sciences.” Potts continues. “Students who want to earn a credential in one of these disciplines can take advantage of UFV’s co-op program, which allows student to combine academic studies with paid work.”
The recent tuition hikes that have hit British universities have opened a door of opportunity for Canadian universities. “Compared to UK universities, Canadian education is both accessible and affordable,” says Potts. “International tuition at Canadian universities is cheaper than ‒ or near equal to ‒ domestic tuition at American or British schools and the quality of education is consistently excellent. And after graduation, international students can move on to graduate studies, or work for up to three years to gain valuable work experience. At the end of their first year of full-time employment, they are eligible to apply for landed status.”