Sheridan's International Students judge us as best in Canada
When Your Students Vote You Best in Canada, What Do You Do for an Encore?For Immediate Release: April 16, 2013
Results from the world’s largest survey of international students have shown that more international students are satisfied with their experience at Sheridan than are their counterparts at other colleges and universities across the country.
How Sheridan Fared
The survey, conducted by International Graduate Insight Group measured student satisfaction on a number of pillars, including learning, living, support and arrival. In response to the survey’s capstone question, 93.9% of Sheridan’s international students said they were satisfied with their overall experience with their institution. Sheridan scored higher on this question than any of the 25 Canadian universities and colleges that participated and had the sixth highest score out of the 188 institutions from 15 countries that were involved.
The survey was conducted last fall and released at the end of March. Sheridan’s international students also gave their institution the top score in Canada for the categories of host friends, a second place score for catering, IT support, and the health centre, and third best score for language support and college orientation.
Building on the Momentum
Sheridan is now partnering with the survey’s authors to mine through the volumes of data that the survey generated. “That knowledge will be invaluable,” says Andrew Ness, Director of Sheridan’s International Centre. “Making future decisions and forecasts that are grounded in research and that take into account the feedback from our students will enable us to respond to their needs even more effectively in the future.”
Ness also envisions using the data to inform a consultative process he’s designing to draft a new strategic plan for internationalization at Sheridan. Faculty, staff and students will have the opportunity to provide input on the creation of the plan. The consultative process will begin this coming fall.
What Sheridan Is Doing Right
“Our success also tells me that at the grass roots level, our faculty and staff members are very welcoming, encouraging, inclusive, and committed to helping international students thrive,” adds Ness. “It also means that we are getting the right students into our programs. Clearly, what they’re being told during the recruitment process is what they’re actually experiencing once they arrive.”
Gyimah Gariba, a fourth year Bachelor of Animation student from Ghana says, “The staff at Sheridan’s International Office is really personable. They started corresponding with me before I even arrived. As an international student, there’s also lot of extra paperwork you need to fill out to keep your status. They’re always emailing reminders when things are due, which is great because our program is very demanding so it can be easy to miss deadlines. The Centre is so helpful. I’ve gotten to know people there by name.”
“International students are extremely important to Sheridan’s future,” says Ian Marley, VP, Student Affairs and Enrolment Management. “They bring a diversity of experience and thinking to the classroom, which enriches the learning for all of our students.” Over the past five years, Sheridan’s international student population has grown by 600% to over 3,000 students. They hail from over 40 countries, with the majority from India, China, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam and Indonesia.
As one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, Sheridan offers over 100 diploma, certificate, and bachelor degree programs. Its aim is to become Ontario’s first university dedicated to undergraduate professional education – a model that will be based on applied learning and Sheridan’s renown for creativity and innovation. The model also focuses on meeting university accreditation requirements so that Sheridan graduates have more pathways to the continued learning that will underscore their personal, career, and industry success.
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