The University of British Columbia Board of Governors gave its support yesterday to the creation of a new Vancouver campus program that will attract a greater diversity and number of international students, helping them to succeed in a North American academic environment.
Known at present as International College, the program will start recruiting students and faculty this fall and will welcome its first cohort of 300 students in August 2014, a number that would grow progressively to 1,000 by August 2016.
“International students bring the world to UBC and this benefits all of our students,” said UBC President Stephen Toope. “This new initiative will reach out to outstanding students from countries like Vietnam, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia – students who bring different perspectives and experiences to campus. This diversity is one of the reasons why so many B.C. and Canadian students choose UBC.”
Students admitted to the International College 12-month program need to meet the same academic requirements as other undergraduates, although the English proficiency required is slightly lower. Admitted College students will take first-year credits in the Arts or Science faculties, and if successful will transition to second year at UBC, in one of a number of degree programs. Initially the College will offer first year in the Faculties of Arts and Science, but other faculties will be added in the future.
Tuition for International College will be set in June following consultation with UBC students, and will reflect the program’s total costs as well as contribute to general campus operations.
“Financial responsibility is important here because UBC does not receive government funding for this,” said Toope. “For approved applicants who don’t have sufficient financial means for tuition, part of total College revenue will be set aside for student assistance.”
Admitted students will also be eligible for other international student financial assistance programs.
International College is an alternate first year pathway for UBC direct entry students, 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.
International students admitted to International College will be UBC students, with 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 UBC.
The 1,000 new student places created at International College by 2016 do not affect the number of domestic student places at UBC. The university received funding from the B.C. government for domestic students, who form 86 per cent of the undergraduate student population at UBC.
The proposal for International College was initially approved on March 20th 2013 by the UBC Senate, the university’s academic governing body. The UBC Board of Governors will be considering the capital plans and tuition proposal associated with International College in the coming months.