Bog shorts Jan. 27: UVic to increase student mobility

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Board of Governors began their meeting by welcoming the new Chancellor, Shelagh Rogers, to her first official Board meeting in office.

Michael Kennedy spoke briefly about the Campus Plan Update and the role that the Board intends to take in the process. He then announced that the University of Victoria will be finalizing and submitting their application to the Canada First Excellence Research Fund, a federal program aimed at helping universities excel in global research, this month.

STUDENT MOBILITY AND INTERNATIONALIZATION

UVic President Jamie Cassels recounted the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s (AUCC) advocacy strategy to the Board, focusing on the theme of student mobility and internationalization. Cassels expressed the view that the University of Victoria has done well in terms of bringing international students to campus, but still needs to work to build programs for international students, and engage Canadian students in more national and international experiences during their post-secondary education.

The University will be announcing new programs after advice from Vice President Academic and Provost Valerie Kuehne and Vice President Research David Castle. These programs will be put in place over the next four years and be supported by the Presidential Discretionary Endowment and Asia Partners fund. This will result in the creation of a number of new scholarships for students from other countries, as well as assisting Canadian students who seek to obtain part of their education in another country or another part of Canada. These programs are also intended to fund internships and co-op placements in off-shore jurisdictions.

STRATEGIC ENROLMENT MANAGEMENT

Associate Vice-President Student Affairs Jim Dunsdon, Director Institutional Planning and Analysis Tony Eder, and Associate Vice-President Academic Planning Catherine Mateer presented on UVic’s Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) plan, a comprehensive and coordinated process to enable the University to identify its enrolment goals. The main goals of the SEM are to recruit high quality students, ensure the success and engagement of students and alumni, and meet the University’s financial goals.

The SEM aims to establish clear goals under these three umbrellas by improving access, strengthening communication and market efforts, and creating collaborative solutions among departments.

B.C. universities are in a unique situation because it is common for students to move in between institutions in the course of their degrees, according to Jim Dunsdon. This is unlike other systems across Canada.

Currently, the SEM is dealing with external factors such as the impending decline of the 18–24-year-old demographic and the changing societal student demands and government expectations. UVic is looking to continue to improve international engagement and support indigenous enrolment.

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