Ontario’s International Education Strategy – Objective 1: Creating Global Citizens
In the previous blog, ApplyBoard provided an overview of Canada’s and Ontario’s market trends in relation to international education. This overview was written with the intention of providing some context on why Ontario has created its new International Education Policy and what actions need to be taken in order to make Ontario the best place for international students in Canada. In this blog, ApplyBoard will inform you on the first of three key objectives of Ontario’s International Education Strategy: the creation of global citizens.
Introduction to Objective 1: Creating Global Citizens
Ontario recognizes that in the current economic environment, the only way that the province can remain one of the best in Canada is that if its workforce has the intercultural skills and international professional competencies essential for success in the globalized markets. As a result, Ontario has dedicated its first objective towards the creation of global citizens.
As it currently stands, about 10% of all Canadian postsecondary students study abroad. This figure, in comparison to the 15% of all US students and 20% of all Australian students indicates that Canada has to perform much better in order to remain competitive. With the strengths of other countries kept in mind, Ontario has focused its efforts to create global citizens through two key avenues: improving the postsecondary experience for domestic students and incoming international students.
Improving the domestic student experience in Ontario
While skilled labor from overseas remains the leading source for Canadian economic growth, it is important to ensure that the domestic population remains satisfied with how they are educated or else Canada risks losing its talent to other countries. The most pressing issue that domestic students face is a desire to study abroad but not having the ability to do so. As a result, Ontario plans to increase accessibility through scholarships and financial support for students wishing to have an international experience. Furthermore, Ontario’s investment into international experiential learning will allow students to work with cutting edge international industry leaders and researchers. This will allow students to come back home with a renewed passion for what they are studying and hopefully bring their experiences with them towards their careers. In order to measure the success of this strategy, Ontario plans to work with schools to set targets towards how many domestic students should they send abroad.
In addition to the creation of more study abroad opportunities, the Ministry of Education wishes to allocate funds towards the creation of programming that will enhance the intercultural competencies and knowledge bases of domestic students. This action was made with the intention of bringing the globe towards the students’ classroom for those who choose not to have an international experience. Whether it is the adjustment of course content to reflect international topics or multicultural programming that allows the students to interact with other people around the globe, the way schools choose to use these additional funds will be dependent on what their needs are.
Improving the international student experience in Ontario
Home to some of the best institutions in the world, Ontario prides itself in opening its doors to international students and enriching their academic lives. In addition to the academic strength, students come from all over the world because of Canada’s inclusive and welcoming environment that is embedded into its culture. In order to encourage students to come to Ontario for their studies, the Ontario government plans to set in place further programming that allows international students fully integrate into Canada’s multicultural society. This will be done through the international student support centres situated at every college and university in the province. Furthermore, Ontario plans to work with the Ministry of Health to identify long term healthcare issues faced by international students and provide an action plan that helps improve or eliminate these issues completely. By ensuring students feel completely welcome and supported here in Canada, they are more likely to stay in the country for the rest of their education and even long term for their careers.
Furthermore, the government of Ontario wants to be as transparent as possible to international students in terms of the cost of their programs. For their entire course of their postsecondary education, international student offer letters will now provide a cost breakdown with predictable fee increases over their years of study. This is to ensure that international students are able to prepare for the financial investment of higher education.
Once international students arrive in Ontario and after they have completed their studies, the government of Ontario plans on surveying them in order to improve the experience for all international students in the future. From campus life to academic delivery, this data will be extremely useful in establishing programs that could be so enriching that more international students are willing to apply and study in Canada.
Want to know more about Ontario’s International Education Strategy? Check on the links below to see future and past blogs!
- Internationalizing Ontario’s Postsecondary Sector – Market Overview
- Ontario’s International Education Strategy – Objective 2: Contributions to Communities and the Economy
- Ontario’s International Education Strategy – Objective 3: Striving for Sustainability and Overall Analysis – Coming soon
All information presented above is sourced from Ontario’s International Education Strategy, Spring 2018, written by the Ministry of Education.
Dawson Phan, Marketing Assistant at ApplyBoard