Ontario’s colleges have today (Thursday) released a new set of common sector-wide standards to strengthen the programs and supports for international students.
Georgian College is one of 23 public colleges that have signed on to begin the compliance process immediately.
“We’re committed to delivering an unrivalled student experience for all of our students, no matter where they come from,” said Kevin Weaver, president and CEO, Georgian College. “As our international student population has grown, our services have also expanded, and at the same time there is always more we can do to help facilitate academic, career and personal success.”
The standards build on existing programs and services and cover everything from the marketing of programs in other countries to targeted assistance to help students adapt to life in Ontario. The standards incorporate best practices from other jurisdictions and align with similar standards in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Georgian’s commitments, as well as each signatory college’s commitments, include:
- Ensuring the marketing of programs to international students is accurate and transparent.
- Requiring international agents working for Georgian to have completed a sector-endorsed agent training program.
- Ensuring information about services, supports and facilities is provided to students before they arrive in Ontario and once they are in the province. This would include information about mental health and well-being, student housing and employment opportunities.
- Providing targeted assistance to help international students adjust to a new environment.
In addition to these commitments, Georgian formed an international student support and settlement task force in 2021 to identify and close gaps in support and settlement services, as well as to develop a strong community network of newcomer service providers across all Georgian campuses.
In the coming months, the college sector will provide details about its quality assurance process to conduct regular audits of each signatory college’s fulfilment of the standards.