The University of British Columbia Vantage College will welcome its first cohort of 300 International Program students in August 2014, further enriching student diversity on the Vancouver campus. Enrolment into the 12-month program will progressively increase to 1,000 students by August 2016.
UBC Vantage College is a new pathway for exceptional graduates from school systems that are very different from North America’s, and where students are taught in languages other than English.
“These international students will bring more of the world to UBC and this will benefit all of our community,” said UBC President Stephen Toope. “More students will come from countries such as Vietnam, Turkey, Russian, Brazil and Indonesia, contributing different perspectives and experiences to both classroom and campus life. This prepares our students to become global citizens.”
Since approval of the International Program by the UBC Vancouver Senate in March 2013 and acceptance of tuition and capital plans by the UBC Board of Governors last June, staff and faculty have been hired and student recruitment is in full swing. The program will integrate additional English language and cultural transition support into all course curricula.
“Our students must meet the same academic requirements as other undergraduates,” said UBC Vantage College Principal James Ridge, “but their year with us will allow them to improve their academic English, transition to a major Canadian university, and complete their first year of studies.”
Admitted students will take first-year Arts and Science courses, and if successful will transition to second year at UBC in one of a number of degree programs. Other faculties will be added as the International Program develops.
“Vantage College is the full UBC experience,” said Ridge. “Students will earn UBC credits, taught by UBC faculty and live in residence on the UBC Vancouver campus.”
An alternate pathway into UBC: UBC Vantage College is an alternate first-year pathway to UBC, allowing the university to welcome outstanding high school graduates whose academic English is not yet sufficient to meet UBC admissions requirements. Typically, these students come from secondary school systems that are delivered in other languages and don’t engage students in the same way as the North American model.
Fully integrated into UBC: International students admitted to UBC Vantage College will be UBC students, with the access to all university services and amenities. They will be held to the responsibilities and regulations that apply to other students and will be members of the Alma Mater Society – the organization that represents undergraduate students at UBC. Their instructors will be UBC teaching staff.
No impact on domestic student placements: The new UBC Vantage College student places created (300 in 2014, 600 in 2015 and the planned maximum of 1,000 in 2016) do not affect the number of domestic student seats at UBC. The university received funding from the BC government for domestic students, who form 84% of the UBC undergraduate student population.
UBC approvals: Vantage College and the International Program proposal were initially approved on March 20th 2013 by the university’s academic governing body for the Vancouver campus – the UBC Vancouver Senate. Following consultation with the Alma Mater Society, the UBC Board of Governors approved the UBC Vantage College tuition program fee and capital plan proposals on June 4th 2013.
UBC Vantage College tuition program fee: Tuition for students enrolled in the International Program reflects both programmatic costs and general campus operations support, since UBC does not receive Canadian or BC government funding for international students. The UBC Alma Mater Society and its constituent International Students Association were consulted and approved the proposed program fee, which is comparable and competitive with peer institutions offering similar programs.
Financial support: A significant part of the total College revenues will be set aside for student assistance. Approved applicants without sufficient financial means will be eligible for the UBC Vantage College awards.
Location: Until 2016, UBC Vantage College will be located at the C.K. Choi Building and students will be housed in existing first-year residences. By summer 2016, UBC Vantage College will move into the new Orchard Commons complex, for which construction is set to begin in the Fall of 2014.
More information: UBC Vantage College website