International students have become an increasingly important part of our university community – and of post-secondary education across British Columbia. This trend has provided advantages and opportunities in terms of new perspectives and connections as well as financial and economic impact. But, as with most opportunities, it has presented new challenges. Academic, social, cultural, and service issues have arisen – and we need to face them together to make the most of our international experience.
International Enrolment at TRU
This project seeks to ensure that we are being thoughtful in our approach to welcoming international students. We want our university to be deliberate and purposeful in seeking and delivering the greatest possible experiences and benefits for international and domestic students as well as faculty, staff, and the broader community. And we want to involve this community in determining what welcoming international students means to us.
In order to do that, we have been hosting an open conversation. To get the ball rolling, we held in-depth focus group discussions with domestic and international students as well as staff and faculty who teach and provide services across our campus. These conversations have informed a brief discussion paper that we are sharing here with the broader community. This paper is a starting point for the campus to come together to talk openly about this important topic.
We have also been working with TRU to ensure the results of this conversation are considered in the development of the Strategic Enrolment Management Plan. This plan will set enrolment goals that reflect who we are as a university, and better coordinate “student recruitment, student services, academic program and curriculum planning and marketing” for a predictable number of students – international and domestic.1
To keep this conversation moving forward we want to hear from you. What have your experiences been with/as international students on our campus? What do you believe is important for the university to consider as we continue to welcome international students from around the world?