Northern College Pledges to New Colleges Ontario Standards

March 16, 2023

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College has joined other Ontario colleges in releasing a set of common sector-wide standards specifically designed to strengthen programs and supports for international students studying at its campuses.

“Every student coming to our College must have an equal opportunity to succeed,” stated Dr. Audrey J. Penner, Northern College President & CEO. “These new standards will reinforce our reputation as an attractive destination for international students.”

The standards build on existing programs and services and cover everything from the marketing of programs in other countries to targeted assistance to helping students adapt to life in Ontario post-graduation.

As well, the standards incorporate best practices from other jurisdictions and align with similar standards in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Twenty-three public colleges have signed on to begin the compliance process immediately. Northern College has already invested additional resources to achieve international leading practice standards for the international student experience.

Each signatory college’s commitments include:

  • Ensuring the marketing of programs to international students is accurate and transparent.
  • Requiring international agents working for Ontario’s colleges to have completed a sector-endorsed agent training program.
  • Ensuring information on services, supports and facilities are provided to students before they arrive in Ontario and once, they are in the province. This would include information on mental well-being, student housing and employment opportunities.
  • Providing targeted assistance to help international students adjust to a new environment.

The sector has initiated work on a quality assurance process to conduct regular audits of each signatory college’s fulfillment of the standards. Dr. Penner chairs the Steering Committee establishing that process for the system.

“Ontario needs more college graduates to help address the rapidly growing labour shortage in key sectors,” stated Penner. “We’re determined to see more students acquire the professional qualifications and expertise to pursue rewarding careers in our community.”

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