By Danielle Torrie, October 2 2014 —
The University of Calgary recently hired Illuminate Consulting Group (ICG), a San Francisco-based consulting firm, to analyze the University of Calgary’s international student recruitment strategy.
ICG will analyze the services U of C international students use including the registrar, wellness services and residence services.
The U of C’s strategic plan aims to increase international student enrolment from the current 10 to 15 per cent by 2016.
“We have not had a very large contingent of international students on campus until now,” said deputy provost Kevin McQuillan. “This raises questions as to what services we might need to create or expand to make the campus as welcoming as it can be to those students.”
ICG contacted the Student Success Centre, Students’ Union, Registrar’s Office and various U of C faculties. ICG approached SU vice-president academic Hana Kadri to discuss student perspectives on improving the current strategy.
Kadri shared the SU perspective on the challenges faced by international and domestic students with ICG, including the need to improve the accessibility of student services.
Kadri is concerned about how increasing the number of international students will influence the number of seats available to domestic students.
“We are actively trying to find space to ensure that we can accommodate the extra international students with the current population that we have right now,” Kadri said.
The strategy was released in March 2014 after plans to build an international college on campus were scrapped. Administration planned to contract a corporation to operate the college.
The new strategy points out regions and countries the U of C should focus on for recruitment. The U of C is looking to ICG to determine whether they should continue to focus on these geographic areas.
The ICG will deliver a report in mid-October outlining the U of C’s current ability to recruit international students and provide recommendations.
ICG’s contract will conclude once they submit their report. Administration will then analyze the findings and adjust the strategy accordingly.