Seneca College, one of the largest colleges in Canada, is looking for partnerships with Indian institutes to expand applied research activities, broadening international and corporate partnerships and increased experimental, cross-disciplinary and flexible learning opportunities. Excerpts with David Agnew, President, Seneca College:
Q: Could you please give us an insight into the programmes offered and the strength of international student community in Seneca College?A: Seneca College offers more than 290 academic courses and 500 career options. Currently, there are more than 1,000 Indian students studying various courses in the college. Seneca is truly a global institution which has students from more than 130 countries. We have more than 4,000 international students which is around 17-18% of the entire student population. We receive most students from China followed by India. While Chinese students are interested in Accounting and Tourism programmes, the Indian students are interested in Engineering, Applied Sciences and Business programmes.
Q: What are the most popular courses among the Indians students in Seneca College?A: The most sought after courses in Seneca are Chemical Lab Technologies followed by Computer Networking, Electronics, Civil Engineering, Biotechnology, Applied Science, Engineering and Technology, Computer and IT courses, Pharmaceutical courses and Software programme courses. In general, the Indian students are mostly interested in technical and engineering streams. We have a good number of Indian students doing various business programmes such as International Business, Marketing and Financial Planning.
Q: What are the unique features of Seneca College in terms of academic culture and the opportunities for students?A: With campuses throughout the Greater Toronto Area in Canada, Seneca’s size and diversity give students the advantage of partnerships with industry leaders, the latest hands-on-computer technology, a variety of class sizes, and full-time, part-time and continuing education options. As education should be flexible and accessible, Seneca also employs various methods of teaching- from in-class lectures and online learning to co-operative education and field placements- in programmes related to applied arts, business, financial services and technology. With a 95% employer satisfaction rate, Seneca’s programmes are in demand and always evolving to meet the needs of industry partners.
Q: What kind of partnerships and collaborations are you planning in India?A: Seneca wants to expand its international reach through strategic partnerships with Indian institutions that share similar aspirations. We have four active Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) in India. Recently Seneca has already signed an MoU with Entrepreneurship and Management Process International (EMPI) which focuses on a joint postgraduate programme in Social Media and Business that is aimed at providing mobility for qualified MBA/PGD students to specialise in Seneca’s Social Media postgraduate programme in their second year.
Seneca also has partnerships with the Mangalam Group of Educational institutions in Kerala, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in Gujarat and the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP). The college has a letter of cooperation with the Government of Gujarat to internationalise the Higher Education in Gujarat through inter-alia, student exchange, faculty exchange, joint research projects and curriculum development. Apart from that, Seneca and the IIT Alumni Canada entered into a letter of intent to collaborate on entrepreneurship development activities. We basically look for partnerships with an aim to increased student mobility back and forth and increased research output.
Q: What are the job opportunities for international students after completing the course in grounds of acquiring a job visa?A: There are many new rules by the government that help the international students to work during the course and after getting graduated. The recent laws allow the international students to work during the summer break. The students who complete a one-year programme in any Canadian university will get a one year work permit. The students who undertake three of four years course will get a three-year work permit. This helps the students to find a job of their choice and qualification easily.
Q: Do you offer financial aid to international students in terms of scholarships?A: Yes, we offer scholarships and bursaries to the international students. From 2012 onwards, Seneca started offering Seneca Renewable Entrance Scholarship of Merit for International Students which gives $1000 each to international students who are entering into a Diploma or Graduate Certificate program. Apart from that we offer a number of bursaries.
Q: What are the other activities you have apart from academics?A: We have a dozen of societies that help the students to mingle with each other and get to know about various cultures. There are various types of societies that focus on different interest areas such as religion, entertainment and hobbies. Apart from that, we have the sports club which has been very active for many years. We conduct inter-college competitions. We have a very active international student services department that organizes various activities that include tours. So we try to encourage the residents and the students in the hostels to engage in various extracurricular activities.
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