By Akanksha Dhingra
Ryerson has partnered with global educational firm Navitas to launch a program that aims to broaden Ryerson’s supports and services for international students.
The program, titled Ryerson University International College (RUIC), aims to help international students transition to university life in Canada, while also growing Ryerson’s international student population. Navitas is an Australian company that partners with universities worldwide to “accelerate the internationalisation” of campuses and “drive higher-quality learning and student experiences” for international students.
Suhaib Momin, a third-year mechanical engineering international student, recalls feeling anxious in his first year, given Ryersons size and external environment.
“I know how overwhelming it can be to hit the ground running in a new country, where you don’t know anyone, and it can be extra difficult to find others that are in the same boat,” he said.
Momin says that he believes RUIC can be international students a common space, where students can make friends, share their experiences, and then transition to university smoothly.
RUIC’s plan is to provide course content, skill development, social and academic support to the international student community. Incoming international Ryerson students will now complete their first-year at RUIC as they settle into Toronto. Once they complete the program successfully, students will be eligible to continue their major studies in their second-year.
Ahmed Osman, an international third-year marketing student, said that he thinks RUIC will help ensure students won’t have to go through the cultural shock international students experience.
“I believe that [RUIC] would positively help Ryerson by making sure that international students first smoothly transition to an entirely different setting and different country,” said Osman.
“A lot of incoming first-year students have a hard time adjusting to their university curriculum and new methods of learning,” said Naeem Ladak, an international third-year business management student.
Ladak says he thinks RUIC may just be the perfect solution to some of the issues international students face, by giving them a transition window to comfortably settle into their new university careers.
“I personally think [the] RUIC project will be a major success since the international student community is growing each year,” said Ladak.
Over the 10-year partnership period, RUIC will be extending the Ryerson brand into new countries through Navitas.
Both Navitas and Ryerson plan to work on RUIC as a part of Ryerson’s new Internationalisation Strategy and new 2020-25 Academic Plan. Outside of generating another stream of revenue for the university, the plan seeks to “prioritize student engagement” by providing them with easier access and more opportunities for global learning and collaborative scholarly research.
Previously, international students have voiced their concerns over international tuition prices being almost more than double the cost of domestic tuition—a concern that has been amplified given remote learning this year.
“This partnership with Navitas marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Ryerson that will better position the university to broaden its global perspectives, and enrich the learning experiences for international and domestic students alike,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi.
Though partnered with Navitas for the initial launch of the project, Ryerson will continue to retain control over all the aspects of the RUIC academic program.