Niagara College students will soon be gaining global skills through newly launched Outbound Student Mobility program experiences.
The international study/ work opportunities will unlock students’ endless potential through life-changing global skills and experiences, made possible by the Government of Canada’s new Global Skills Opportunity program.
“Niagara College applauds the federal government for their support, and we are happy to extend this financial assistance to Niagara College students,” said NC’s Vice President of International, Sean Coote. “Finances are often a significant barrier to our students accessing study/ work abroad opportunities. Through this support, Niagara College is excited to build on and enhance our student mobility opportunities as we continue to prepare world-ready graduates.”
NC was recently awarded $1 million in study/work abroad funding from the federal government – two $500,000 grants, as part of their $95 million Outbound Student Mobility Pilot program. This funding will support the launch of two projects at the College – Local to Global and Global Employment Opportunities – that will provide 1,500 students with access to study/work abroad experiences, both virtually and physically, over the next four years.
Beginning in the Winter 2022 term, students will start to see opportunities such as virtual field studies, international guest speakers, and much more incorporated into their NC experience. Followed later in the year by the ramp up for the long-awaited return of Niagara College’s signature study and work abroad program – Be World Ready.
“The Be World Ready team has been keenly planning exciting new life-changing opportunities over the past several months to take our students around the world again,” said NC’s Associate Director of International Student Services, Maxine Semple. “The opportunity for students to travel abroad, to explore a different culture, learn, grow and challenge themselves, undoubtedly prepares students for their future careers as well further develops global competencies necessary for an increasingly connected world.”
“We are thrilled that this funding will support the dreams of so many students to see and experience the world, whether from their classrooms in Niagara or from abroad,” said NC’s Manager of Cultural and Global Engagement, Sarah Scott “The Be World Ready team cannot wait to get those dreams off the ground soon.”
The Outbound Student Mobility Pilot initiative was announced in the 2019 federal budget and was initially planned for release in April 2020. Due to the pandemic, the full program launch was postponed to the summer of 2021. During this delayed period, Colleges and Institutes Canada launched a call for proposals to member institutions for innovative outbound student mobility projects, of which Niagara College was awarded two projects, both which were important catalysts for these newly funded projects.
Global Skills Opportunity is a national outbound student mobility program that is expected to enable more than 16,000 Canadian college and undergraduate-level university students from across the country acquire the global skills employers want and the Canadian economy needs. A key component of the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy, Global Skills Opportunity is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is administered jointly by Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada.
While open to all Canadian post-secondary students, the national program targets groups for whom international experiences have traditionally been less accessible – specifically Indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities. It also aims to diversify destination countries where Canadian students pursue international learning.
In Canada, only about 11% of university undergraduates and 3% of college students – participate in work or study abroad experiences during their studies which is a lower rate than many other G20 countries. The new program stands to change that. By empowering post-secondary institutions to implement innovative solutions to barriers to participation, Global Skills Opportunity will expand the horizons of Canadian students from coast to coast, and improve Canada’s competitiveness on the world stage.
“Study and work abroad programs are invaluable learning experiences that ensure students are culturally literate, resilient, adaptable and ready to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. This is perhaps more important than ever, which is why we are so proud to work with our partners to deliver Global Skills Opportunity. This groundbreaking program will allow more Canadian students to access these opportunities to develop the skills they need to gain a foothold in today’s global marketplace.”
– Denise Amyot, President, Colleges and Institutes Canada
For more information, visit GlobalSkillsOpportunity.ca.
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
Photo: Niagara College students will have expanded access to a variety of study/work abroad experiences, both virtually and physically, over the next four years through the Government of Canada’s new Global Skills Opportunity program.