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Community partners announce summit and charter to improve international student experience

Jun 22, 2022

City of Brampton and Sheridan College logos

Brampton, ON

Sheridan College and the City of Brampton invite anyone who touches the lives of international students in Brampton, and anyone interested in helping improve the international student experience in Canada, to join us for a summit on July 25 and 26 at the Sheridan College Davis Campus, 7899 McLaughlin Road, Brampton.

Over the past six months, a planning committee called the International Student Experience Roundtable convened five times to plan the summit. The Roundtable – co-chaired by Bill Boyes, Fire Chief City of Brampton and Gurpreet Malhotra, CEO Indus Community Services – engaged key community stakeholders to define the problems, identify gaps and barriers, share existing research, knowledge and lived experiences and propose ideas and solutions.

The Roundtable’s efforts were inspired by the Collective Impact model, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, which provides a framework for tackling complex, social change efforts. The model is based on cross-sector coordination, not the sum of isolated interventions by individual organizations. It brings stakeholders together around a common agenda, a unified vision for change, a shared understanding of the problem and a collective approach to actions, reporting and accountability.

The summit will feature inspiring keynotes by international students who are at multiple stages of their postsecondary journey and best practice panel sessions that cover topics such as building partnerships, resourcing, measurement, and communication. Multiple break-out sessions will engage participants to draft recommendations and commitments on key themes.

The summit will be facilitated by Roopa Trilokekar, an Associate Professor of postsecondary education at York University with 20+ years of experience as a professional administrator in the field of international education in Canada, India, and the United States. Her own research focuses on government policy on international education, as well as its links and impact on higher education and the international student experience.

The output of the summit will form the basis of a forthcoming community charter to support international student success that will include shared principles, actions, and a mechanism for accountability. The draft charter will be shared with the community for further input and refinement this fall followed by a signing ceremony.

Registration for the summit is now open and can be found here. To facilitate a diverse range of perspectives, registration is capped to five people from any one organization. To assist in planning and finalizing food orders, a one-time conference fee of $25 will be collected per person at time of registration, however 100 per cent of funds collected will be directed toward an emergency support bursary for international students. Anyone facing financial hardship may email summit@sheridancollege.ca to submit a request to register for free. Registration closes on July 18. Keynotes and best practice panel presentations, only, will be livestreamed to the summit website and may be viewed for free, without prior registration. The roundtable and summit are supported by $50K worth of services contributed by Sheridan to organize and host the summit and a further donation of $50K from guard.me international insurance inc.

Quotes

“Together with our partners, the City of Brampton is committed to taking meaningful action to address the lived experiences of international students and support them as members of the community. This Summit will be a key opportunity to build on all of the work done to date, finalize a collective solution that positions Brampton as a national leader in the international student experience.”

—   Bill Boyes, Chief, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services and Roundtable Co-Chair

“International students are a huge benefit to the Canadian and local economies. These young people leverage all their own savings and borrowed resources to help make their dreams of Canadian settlement come true. It is imperative that our policy makers and system leaders work together to remove the barriers to success that make life so difficult for hard working students.”

— Gurpreet Malhotra, CEO, Indus Community Services and Roundtable Co-Chair

“Sheridan is committed to being a force for good in our home communities. Despite a heavy investment over the years in a wide range of wrap-around supports and services, steep obstacles still exist that impede the ability of some international students to succeed. We are eager to work with a wide range of partners to realize our shared vision of making Brampton a best practice leader in Canada for the international student experience. As a collective, we’re committed to tackling this complex issue that affects us all and we’re driven by a strong desire to help those students who need us the most.”

— Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor, Sheridan

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