New government programs and substantial recruitment efforts produce notable results
This year, Mount Allison has experienced a spike in new international student numbers. In comparison to last year, the number of international students who came to Mt. A with a study permit for the 2018-19 academic year has increased by a preliminary count of 39%. This increase came as a result of intensive efforts by multiple offices working in and outside of the university to attract more international students.
According to Kutay Ulkuer, director of recruitment admissions and awards, the efforts to recruit more international students included cooperation with the Canadian government, including EduCanada, which is an international brand for Canada that holds university fairs around the world.
Ulkuer added that New Brunswick has an initiative called Choose New Brunswick that will support population growth initiatives in the province and work actively to attract more newcomers to the province. Ulkuer said that Choose New Brunswick understands that educational opportunities directly impact population growth, so they asked Mt. A to participate with them in fairs. In addition, Ulkuer said that the University works with Mt. A alumni all over the world.
The marketing and communications office at the University produces brochures, used during tours and to promote the university for recruitment, particularly the international recruitment view book which is designed for international students.
When asked about the countries that international students at Mt. A came from, Adam Christie, the director of student life and international services, said, “We are up to 64 different citizenships, different nationalities on campus and we are hoping to attract more, where the university has an internationalization strategy.” Christie explained that building up campus diversity has a positive impact on students’ interaction with each other and allows for more perspectives in classrooms.
There are many criteria that students take into account when they choose to attend a specific university. Nguyen Nhien, a student from Vietnam, said that Mt. A is a small university that makes her feel welcome, and that the fees are relatively affordable.
Nhien also mentioned that she became aware of the university when Alana Green, an international recruitment and admissions officer, visited her school and introduced Mt. A to the students there through her tour.
According to Kutay, Mt. A always tries to identify new countries where they might attract international student attention. Last year, for example, staff visited Japan, China, the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates. There are also plans this year to visit Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
Final numbers will be known later in October, as the 39% increase is a preliminary count.
Correction: an earlier version of this article misrepresented the 39% increase in international student numbers as an increase over two years, and as a final count, while it is actually an increase seen (of new international students) in the past year, and is not a final number.
The Argosy apologizes for these and any other errors. Suspected errors and requests for correction can be brought to the attention of Editor-in-Chief Catherine Turnbull.