Nov. 19, 2013

Town hall continues consultation on international student recruitment

Viewpoints aired as provost leads discussion and answers questions
 Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic), speaks to the town hall on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.

Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic), speaks to the town hall.

Riley Brandt

A town hall audience of about 80 people with another 60 watching online heard a variety of viewpoints Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 on the possibility of engaging a third-party provider to aid the University of Calgary in its efforts to strengthen international diversity on campus.

The option, developed by a subcommittee of the International Task Force, suggests the university explore the hiring of a private firm to aid in international recruitment, and operate a foundations/pathways program under contract to support the newly-recruited students.

The meeting heard presentations by Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic); Paul Rogers, president of the Faculty Association of the University of Calgary (TUCFA), who was invited to speak to the town hall and take part in the follow-up question-and-answer session; and several members of the audience who spoke from the floor.

The recently approved International Strategy includes four major strategies: increase diversity and cross-cultural competencies on campus, enhance education and research partnerships internationally, and advance international development. Under the increasing diversity strategy, international targets were set of 10 per cent of the undergrad student population and 25 per cent of graduate students. The ratios are currently about 5-6 per cent for undergrads; 23-24 per cent for graduate students. In order to reach the undergraduate enrolment target, we would need between 1,200 and 1,400 new international students (or about 300 to 350 students per year in each of four years of an undergraduate program that would be spread amongst faculties). This target would be gradually achieved, and these new international students would be above the target set for overall undergraduate enrolment by the provincial government. In other words, international students would not displace domestic students.

The third-party option aimed at undergraduate recruitment would eventually increase the number of international undergraduate students by 1,000 to 1,400 to reach the 10 per cent goal.

View videos and slideshow presentations from the town hall.