Statement on Illegal Agent Activities in India
Sheridan College is relieved to learn of the recent charges made against Education and Migration Services in India. The firm is accused of issuing hundreds of fictitious letters of admission to post-secondary institutions in Ontario without the knowledge of the host institution, forging student visa documents, and defrauding families of thousands of dollars in stolen fees.
Sheridan has never engaged the services of this firm or its partners. Our dedicated international student recruitment team and market manager for South Asia are full time Sheridan employees. They work with a select number of international admissions agents. Sheridan does extensive vetting of references and business practices to help us ensure our agents are acting in ways that are ethical and professional. We evaluate the outcomes of our agreements before renewing to ensure that the students who have been recruited were successful and that we are satisfied with an agent’s performance. Senior leaders at Sheridan make regular visits to official in-country recruitment partners, and constantly monitor their performance. We are also routinely in contact with in-country Canadian and Indian consular officials to make our presence and standards known.
Sheridan is recognized internationally, by prospective students and recruitment partners as having rigorous and transparent admissions standards and high standards for academic performance and English proficiency. Our approach helps to ensure that admitted students are readily prepared for the rigour of Sheridan when they commence their studies. Our team of credential evaluation specialists assess curricula from across the globe to ensure that international students have achieved the required equivalent academic standards to set them up for success at Sheridan. We keep our select number of agent partners and other in-country representatives continually informed about the latest curriculum standards and equivalencies for admission to Sheridan programs.
Additionally, we pride ourselves on the innumerable actions we take to be a best-practice leader in international education, including extensive support for entrance scholarships, financial aid and paid work-study programs. We offer a comprehensive suite of programs and services for academic support, to build community and friendships, and to enable learners to thrive in Canada. A few examples include:
Pre-Arrival: Students participate in interactive workshops 14 weeks before their arrival in Canada that include information about all aspects of local student life. While all first-year students are guaranteed a spot in residence, we also provide comprehensive support to find safe off-campus housing including vetted landlords and homestay options.
Health: All international students are required to purchase comprehensive health insurance, which gives them access to the same health care services as any other Ontario resident as well as mental health services. Sheridan’s on-campus physical and mental health services are available in multiple languages including Hindi, Punjabi and Gujrati. Our diverse staff includes five South Asian doctors and five South Asian nurses including a nurse practitioner who was an Indian international student. By using targeted outreach and hiring an in-house nurse practitioner, use of the health centres by international students increased by 150 per cent in 2020-21.
Employment: In addition to co-ops, work placements and post-graduation career resources, Sheridan also established a work study program for international students to receive Canadian work experience and financial support based on need.
Connections: To create connection and community, Sheridan employs peer mentors and other support staff to facilitate groups where students can meet one another, participate in weekly activities, “chai chats” and workshops.
Anytime that a student is victimized, the reputation of the post-secondary sector in Ontario is harmed. That is why Sheridan has taken a leadership role to create a standard-setting approach to welcoming and supporting international students through the development of the Brampton Charter. Through our collective impact approach, we are working with all levels of government, community agencies and both public and private postsecondary institutions to focus on an action plan and roadmap that unites partners to achieve shared goals. By boldly acknowledging that international students are a critical immigration stream, we will hold each other accountable for providing international students with the support they need to be successful as students and as Canadian citizens. Our cultural and economic future relies on it.
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