DEREK LEMIEUX has been hired to increase Northwest Community College’s international student population.

Northwestern B.C. college wants more international students

The plan is to recruit as many as 40 by this time next year

Northwest Community College has hired a recruiter to boost its population of international students from 12 this year to as many as 40 by this time next year.

College vice president Justin Kohlman says the aim is to expand programs by expanding student population.

“What we want to do is offer as many programs as possible for students in the northwest. In order to do that we need a critical mass of students,” he said. “By bringing in international students, we can therefore offer more courses.”

Kohlman said the college needed to hire an international recruiter because attracting students from abroad is very complex as it involves research, travel, building up social and college supports for those students who come and developing partnerships with universities and high schools across the world. Those partnerships could be as simple as having international students study one semester or more in Terrace before moving on, or having domestic students study two years here and then travel abroad for the rest of their education.

Though Kohlman acknowledged that international students pay higher tuition — $269 per credit compared to $88 for domestic students — he said that is not the primary driver stimulating the international focus.

“Yes they do pay additional tuition,” he said, “but there are also additional costs supporting them and recruitment costs. At the end of the day it’s not a financial decision.”

Derek Lemieux, who is the newly-hired of international recruiter, said much the same, noting that the aim is simply to grow enrolment and diversify the student body.

“Our goal is to create a diverse student population… that will really contribute to the atmosphere at the college and the culture in the cities that we are in.”

He said another driver is economic, as it is encouraged by the provincial government.

“Having international students is good for the economy,” said Lemieux, explaining that students who move here spend money on goods and services and on tourism.

The college’s 12 international students this year, spread across its campuses in the north, come from 11 countries.

Most of Lemiuex’s work will be corresponding with foreign recruitment agencies, similar to travel agencies, to promote northern B.C. study opportunities as well as travel.

Next month Lemieux is headed to Qinhuangdao, China – the city with which the City of Terrace is developing a close economic relationship with through the purchase by an economic development corporation there, which involves half of the city’s Skeena Industrial Development Park.

College officials were included in a local delegation to visit Qinhuangdao earlier this year. “We are looking to complement that relationship and it’s something that we are looking to grow,” said Lemieux.

The college also wants to enhance its business program diploma status next year with the expectation of luring more international students.

“A lot of international students will have attended post secondary education in their home country and are looking to study abroad after completing that credential,” said Lemieux.

Another focus is establishing a home stay program so that international students can live with a local family while in the northwest.

Lemieux is now working to find families willing to take in international students.

“We want to provide a number of options for our international students… and make sure that they have the supports that they need,” he said.

He said that one of main enticements of northern B.C. is its natural beauty.

“Our surroundings here are really unique, so the opportunities to get out in nature and experience real Canadian culture, is one of the draws,” he said. “One of the challenges is convincing students to come to the north… a lot of people automatically associate B.C. with Vancouver.”

But Lemieux says he promotes Terrace and northern communities as “welcoming and very safe communities” with strong First Nations connections and cultural opportunities.

College summer field schools are also a particular draw in which students travel the region to investigate its geography, volcanic and glacial landscapes, wildlife and First Nations cultures.

Besides college and university studies and several years at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario doing international recruitment, Lemieux also lived and worked in Japan for five years.

He worked for the local governments in international education and helped with the English language program there, experiencing the adjustments of culture shock and language immersion.

“The experience provided a good foundation for what I am doing now,” he said of his work.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Terrace RCMP arrest Kitimat man for drug trafficking

A police investigation has led to the arrest of a Kitimat man… Continue reading

Terrace Fire Department announces new training program, increased calls in year-end report

All firefighters in Terrace are expected to complete training by the end of April 2018.

UPDATE: Prince Rupert woman killed in logging truck collision

Empty logging truck west of Terrace struck moose before colliding with the eastbound SUV

David Edwardsen sentenced to eight years in jail

Sentencing result of 14 drug and firearms convictions

Taking a virtual walk across Canada

The Kermode Friendship Society challenged their staff to participate in this year’s competition, which aims to promote physical activity, networking, and friendly competition.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

Most Read