Diversity in the classroom = quality education.
The Canadian government recently announced its 5-year plan to attract more foreign students to Canada. I am pleased to see that diversity is now a key goal, a model that ILAC has spent the last 20 years building. With students from over 100 different countries, ILAC is known for being one of the most diverse English language schools in the world.
Canada will target some of ILAC’s biggest markets: Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, France and Ukraine.
From day one, diversity in the classroom was our niche. It is one of the best ways to ensure students are immersed in English and learn about different cultures and ideas. When other schools were recruiting students from Japan and Korea, ILAC went to Colombia and Brazil. When Canadian institutions were investing in China, we were building relationships in Russia, Turkey and France. ILAC actively recruits in small markets such as Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. Our goal, and as a result our success, has always been diversity.
Now Canada has a vision that ILAC is aligned with.
Today, more and more post-secondary institutions are reaching out to ILAC as a pathway to new markets. Currently, we have partnerships with over 85 Canadian colleges and universities that depend on ILAC for their diversity strategy.
That’s why ILAC created the Canada Partnership Forum (CPF), a series of higher education conferences that help university and college pathway partners access new markets around the world.
The annual Canadian event, held next spring in Toronto, is expected to attract more than 100 higher education institution representatives from across Canada and 250 international partners from 30 different countries. In 2020, we will further support Canada’s goal by hosting CPF events with public sector partners in Mexico, Colombia, Vietnam, Brazil, France and Ukraine.
I consider Prime Minister Trudeau’s vision bold and forward thinking.
Traditionally, the public sector has recruited from only two student markets, China and India. This has created the exact opposite of diversity in classrooms across colleges and universities in Canada. Government positions in the past might have considered Trudeau’s position today as “politically incorrect”. But multiculturalism is his father’s legacy and gift to Canada.
Diversity has always been our strength, not just in the classroom but as a country.
Creating connections, promoting diversity and developing new markets is what ILAC does best. We have been acting as Canada’s ambassadors around the world for more than two decades and will continue to support the public sector in ensuring that Canada remains a land of opportunity for generations to come.