Saskatchewan Polytechnic provides global learning experiences for Indigenous and low-income students

Sask Polytech is making studying or working abroad more accessible so students can bring home a global perspective

November 19, 2021 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic is excited to be a partner in the Global Skills Opportunity program, the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program. This program, funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, will improve international outbound mobility opportunities for Sask Polytech and Parkland College Indigenous and low-income students.

Student mobility empowers students to take advantage of international learning experiences and to develop skills such as problem solving, adaptability, resilience and intercultural competency. When students work and study abroad, they bring back skills and knowledge that benefit everyone. Students bring back a fresh perspective to their classrooms, campuses and communities. Post-secondary institutions create invaluable linkages with institutions and partners overseas.

In a recent study funded by the Global Skills Opportunity program’s innovation fund call for proposals, Indigenous and low-income students at Sask Polytech identified cost as the single-most significant barrier to participation in global learning experiences. This partnership will enable Sask Polytech to provide global learning experiences for Indigenous and low-income students.

“Global Skills Opportunity is breaking down financial, social and logistical barriers that have prevented underrepresented students, particularly Indigenous and low-income students, from participating in global study and work opportunities,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “This funding will increase international mobility opportunities for Indigenous and low-income students by improving financial supports, creating new opportunities for programs and enhancing international mobility services. We are pleased to partner with Parkland College on this initiative to offer travel abroad opportunities to their students as well.”

It is expected that over 200 Sask Polytech and Parkland College students will be supported through the $700,000 Global Skills Opportunity program funding. Project exchanges will occur in countries where Sask Polytech has partnership memorandums of understanding, including China, India, Mexico, Uganda, Vietnam, Mexico and Ukraine.

“Parkland College is excited to be partnering with Sask Polytech on this new venture,” says Kami DePape, vice-president, Academics at Parkland College. “Parkland College students will now have the opportunity for formal outbound mobility. These opportunities enable our rural Saskatchewan students to gain the global knowledge and skills necessary in today’s world. The Global Skills Opportunity program provides the means and the initiative to engage our Indigenous and low-income learners. Without it, most of these students would never have access to international learning experiences.”

Global Skills Opportunity is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is administered jointly by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and Universities Canada. Projects are implemented by participating colleges and universities across the country.