Sep 11, 2017
Langara College values diversity and respect for all cultures, and strives to provide our students with international perspectives and experiences. We welcome students from across Metro Vancouver and across the globe, and are committed to the success of all of our students, both domestic and international. We also provide many opportunities for local students to gain international perspectives by studying or working abroad. We're pleased to provide the following background information on international education at Langara.
How many international students are at Langara and where do they come from?
In the 2016/17 academic year, Langara welcomed over 6,100 students from 99 different countries. The largest numbers of students come from India, China, Japan, Brazil, and Vietnam.
Why has Langara increased the number of international students so quickly over the past few years?
Langara has enrolled international students from our very first incoming class as an independent institution in 1994 because we value the additional diversity they bring to our campus. In order to continue to serve our local community as an affordable institution offering comprehensive programming while still meeting legislative requirements for balanced budgets, the College increased our international recruitment activities a few years ago. Those efforts were also aligned with Canadian and Provincial Government policies which supported the growth of international students.
Do international students take spaces away from domestic students?
No, international students do not displace domestic students. The number of spaces in our programs for domestic students is determined by the Provincial Government each year in our budget letter. For Langara, that number is 7,056 full-time equivalent students.
The number of international students we accept does not impact that number, and we consider their applications separately from domestic applications. Due to the increase in our international enrolments, over the past two years we have been able to add 17,636 additional seats in our courses, many in high demand areas, making it easier for domestic students to get in to these courses as well.
How much do international students pay and are they subsidized by taxpayers?
International students’ education is not subsidized by BC taxpayers the way domestic students' is. International students must therefore cover the full cost of their programs through tuition, which is why they pay $590 per credit at Langara, while a domestic student would pay only $95.56 per credit for the same first year course. Langara’s per credit tuition fees for domestic students are among the lowest in the region, and we have not increased international student tuition fees in the past two years.
Is it easier for international students to get in to Langara than domestic students? How do you ensure they have the language skills to be successful?
No. Langara is an open enrolment institution, that welcomes in to our university transfer programs students who have completed BC Grade 12, or the equivalent in their country, and can demonstrate the English-language proficiency required to be successful. Some of our career or limited-enrolment programs have additional, program-specific requirements, and our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is open only to domestic students.
Langara has some of the highest English language admission requirements among BC post-secondary institutions. For those students who do not yet meet those requirements, we offer the Langara English for Academic Purposes program through our Continuing Studies Division. Students who meet the standard and gain admission are required to take the Langara English Test to further assess their English level and help them determine which English courses at Langara would be the best fit for them. Along with many student support services, all students also have access to tutoring and support through our Writing and Tutoring Centre.
How much money does Langara make from international students, and what do you do with it?
In the fiscal year 2016/17, Langara earned $56,437,000 in tuition and student fees from international students, and $26,267,000 from domestic students.
The majority of revenues from international students go to cover the costs of offering the courses they are taking, including the costs of instruction and equipment. We also invest some of that revenue in improving our facilities and expanding services for both international and domestic students. For example, over the past few years we have completed renovations to add additional classrooms and expanded our Student Engagement Centre.
International students also provide economic benefits to our community. According to a recent BC Council for International Education report, international student spending contributes more than $3.5 billion to the provincial economy.
Does Langara work with education agents and if so, why?
International students applying to Langara do not have to go through an education agent. In fact, a growing number of our international applicants apply directly to us. However, some families find it beneficial to work with an education agent who can help them navigate the Canadian post-secondary system and find the institution that best meets their student’s needs.
To recruit students from abroad, Langara employs its own recruitment staff and works with education agents. Our agent approval process includes a comprehensive application, reference checks, direct in-person training, and careful vetting. All agents are required to sign a contract with us that outlines our mutual obligations, including our expectation that they act with the highest ethical and professional standards. These agent relationships are reviewed annually by Langara staff.
What steps does the College take to support international students?
Langara provides a wide range of support and academic services to all students. Our International Education staff also provides orientation and workshops to help international students adjust to life in Vancouver, and ongoing social events to help them meet other students.
What opportunities are there for domestic Langara students to gain international experience?
Langara’s domestic students gain international perspectives by sharing classrooms with students from around the world. The College also provides a number of opportunities for domestic students to study or work abroad, including student exchange programs, field schools, and co-op work opportunities through the Disney Field School and our new India Connect Scholarship Program.
Domestic students and faculty international engagement stories:
Robert Fougner, Arts and Science (Commerce) Alumnus
Pat Woods, Nursing Instructor
Rebecca Stuivig de Groot, Nursing Alumna
International student stories:
Majd Agha, Syrian refugee student
Banpreet Grewal, Applied Science for Engineering student
Navdeep Hanspal, Alumnus
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