As we look to the start of a new Fall term, I’m pleased to provide an update on what has been a very eventful spring and summer for our International division, including new initiatives that build on Niagara College’s rich tradition in international education – from our growing enrolment of international students to partnerships, development projects and international learning opportunities around the world.
Most recently, Niagara College finalized one-year agreements to assume operations of the Al Ahsaa and Majma’ah women’s campuses in Saudi Arabia, building on our previous success in the region, and ensuring equitable access to education and training for Saudi women and men.
As with our Taif Campus, which is currently welcoming its third intake of students, the Al Ahsaa and Majma’ah campuses are part of the government of Saudi Arabia’s Colleges of Excellence (CoE) program. CoE has significantly expanded access to applied education to Saudi women and men through the launch of 37 institutions throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The initiative is designed to prepare women and men for direct entry into the workforce.
The Makkah Campus, where we have previously assumed operations on a short-term basis, is also a part of the CoE program, as is the Madinah College of Technology for Women, where we have provided consulting services designed to enhance internal business practices and the quality of teaching and instructional delivery.
Approximately 800 students will study at the Al Ahsaa and Majma’ah campuses, which is similar to the current enrolment at the Taif and Makkah campuses.
The opportunity to assume the operation of the Al Ahsaa and Majma’ah campuses reflects a growing recognition of our ability to deliver high-quality, industry-focused and student-centred programs and services across the globe.
All of our KSA campuses offer a comprehensive foundation year program consisting of English, mathematics, information technologies and communications followed by post-secondary programming in business and information technology. We are also currently assessing student and employer demand in anticipation of expanded programming.
These new initiatives build on our relationship with the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh and Jeddah, where we have delivered diploma programs to men and women for the last eight years. It also aligns with our long-standing interest in expanding our operations within the CoE program to include education and training for women.
I am pleased to announce that Fiona Allan, dean of Academic and Liberal Studies has accepted an interim position for the next couple of months as principal of our new campuses, and Cindy Andrews, contract training manager in the International Division has accepted the position of Senior Manager – Recruitment, Enrolment Services and Services.
This news caps off what has been an exciting spring and summer for our International division.
We were pleased to welcome representatives of Vietnam’s Training Centres for Advanced Management (TCAM) for a summer training academy of instructional design as part of the Vietnam Skills for Employment project (VSEP). Through a competitive process we were selected to work with TCAM to design and develop a comprehensive advanced leadership management program to strengthen the leadership skills of college leaders throughout Vietnam – a project designed to enhance the development of a well-trained, highly-skilled workforce that will support economic growth and development in the country.
In June, we signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences that will allow us to build on existing partnerships that have seen students from Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences study ESL and bio-medical engineering at NC for the past three years.
Also this fall, we will welcome more than 2,200 international students from 90 different countries. Among this year’s cohort of international students are 60 Danish students who will study a customized business program for 10 weeks, as part of a new partnership with Roskilde Business College in Denmark.
These are just a few examples of the exciting initiatives that help us to bring the world to Niagara College, and Niagara College to the world – providing important international learning opportunities for students, and sharing our unique approach to applied education with students around the world.