In late November, the Global Health Office’s own Said Msabaha attended the 2014 Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) Conference. This year’s theme was “ Diplomacy of Knowledge” and brought over 800 delegates together to discuss on the topics of strengthening national and international collaboration between institutions, enhancing student services, strategic recruitment models and creating workable approaches to educating future global leaders, among others. The conference featured over 60 concurrent sessions from recruitment, admissions, and retention to tracking of alumni post graduation.
In attendance was representatives from regional, national and international educational agencies, diplomats, private consultants, educational institutions and federal elected officials. The sessions and conversations among these delegates celebrated the many benefits of having international student programs. However, delegates also rallied around some key challenges Canadian institutions are facing in the “global race for research talent”. Themes to this effect included fostering a supportive medical education environment and tracking post graduate success. In Part 1 of this series, Said shares with us a few key observations from his experience at the CBIE Conference:
Several Canadian delegates representing institutions indicated that international students are experiencing difficulty during transition including but not limited to language difficulties, culture related learning differences and academic support issues. I noted some similarities with our experiences with the IMU students in earlier cohorts. Since 2010 our program continues to be more comprehensive and is gradually eliminating transition related issues.
2. Tracking post graduation:
Tracking of international students post graduation is also a challenge for most of our institutions. At the Global Health Office we began tracking our IMU students in 2010 using several measures including social media. This has proved helpful as we now know where and what most of our recent graduates are engaged in.
These observations demonstrated common concerns and hopes delegates shared in delivering high quality education to international students. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll offer considerations flowing from these observations!
For more on this conference please see Part 2 of this series.