In Part 1, we shared Said’s findings from the 2014 Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) Conference held in Ottawa from November 19th – 22nd , 2014. During this time, Canadian institutions came together under the theme of “ Diplomacy of Knowledge” to discuss the strengthening of national and international collaboration between institutions, enhancing of student services, strategic recruitment models and creating workable approaches to educating future global leaders.
What is diplomacy of knowledge? The Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, opened the conference’s first plenary session with his personal and professional remarks on diplomacy of knowledge. In his brief address, the Governor General of Canada defined this term as a “a shared knowledge across national and international borders leading to social and economic innovation“.
Through this knowledge sharing process and his personal obervations, Said offers considerations for the Faculty of Medicine, here at Dalhousie. International students make a very significant contribution to our university and in keeping with Dalhousie’s internationalization strategy, considerations under the following themes were offered:
Student Support & Services
International student support and services at Dalhousie University should:
1. Enhance intra collaboration (i.e., Work with stakeholders within Dalhousie to develop a consistent system of record-keeping to track international students to realize academic and cultural needs)
2. Enhanced faculty and staff cultural competency
3. Re-examine barriers facing international students within the Faculty of Medicine
4. Offer international students some of the same student services as domestic students. For example, bursaries and external scholarships.
Internationalization Plan for FOM
1. Establish a survey to collect information from departments in order to identify the number of international student within units and to assess students’ individual needs.
2. Identify departmental “recruitment” need for international students including strategic recruitment in collaboration with Faculty of Graduate Studies.
A few final remarks. . .
The CBIE conference highlighted many benefits and some challenges of having international student programs. It is conclusive that Canadian institutions need international students to compete in the “global race for research talent”. To remain competitive, Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine should take measures to distinguish itself from the growing number of players in international education. Dalhousie must not only continue to provide the current high quality educational experience, but also identify opportunities to conitnue to move toward a reputation as the most supportive educational environment for international students.