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Meeting 'The New India'

  • Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
  • The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
    The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
  • His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)
    His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)

Queen’s University graduate students were introduced to “The New India” as part of a delegation visit by the High Commission of India to Canada on Wednesday.

The delegation was led by His Excellency Vikas Swarup, who was named High Commissioner in the spring. The visit marked His Excellency’s first trip to Kingston since taking office. In addition to being a highly respected diplomat and envoy, His Excellency is also a celebrated author – his most famous book, 2005’s Q&A, hit North American theatres in 2008 as Slumdog Millionaire.

During his day-long stop, he attended a lunch hosted by Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon, presented a lecture to graduate students at the Smith School of Business, and learned about Queen’s research priorities and the recent activities of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre working with the Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi, India. The day concluded with a networking reception hosted by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

“It was an honour to welcome the High Commissioner to Queen’s and to share with him some of the exciting research and innovation we are doing at Queen’s,” says Dr. Bacon. “We were very pleased that His Excellency took the time to discuss the exciting developments taking place in his country, and to elaborate on the opportunities for Queen’s and for Canada to partner with India. Expanding our relationship with India, and having meaningful international “at home” experiences for our students, such as His Excellency’s lecture, are integral parts of our Comprehensive International Plan and I want to thank everyone, and in particular our Mayor Bryan Paterson, who made the day a success.”

His Excellency’s lecture focused on the changing dynamics within the nation of more than 1.3 billion people. He spoke to the existing relationship between Canada and India, which he hoped to make “the defining partnership” of the coming century, and areas of future growth and collaboration.

"India is a very exciting place right now because it is transforming at a rapid pace,” says His Excellency. “In the new India, the most important thing is going to be partnerships. We have a massive requirement of skill...at a time when the world is aging, India has a young population and a youthful population...We are looking for partnerships with premier international universities like Queen's, so I think there is a lot we can do together."

During the visit by the High Commissioner, Dr. Bacon informed the delegation that he will make a trip to India in January to learn more about the work of the Deshpande Foundation. 

Arts + education + the BISC = unique learning experience

BISC Concurrent Education students speak with Head Teacher Barbara Gill and Special Educational Needs Teacher Liz Hubbell of Netherfield Primary School at a special Careers Evening. (Supplied Photo)

A brand new first-year program at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) is celebrating as its first cohort heads back to Kingston to complete their studies, and a new class joins the castle community.

Candidates in the Concurrent Education program complete Education courses alongside their courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science, leading towards the award of a Bachelor of Education in addition to their chosen Bachelor’s degree. The program is designed for students who might be interested in teaching internationally following their studies. Twenty four students successfully completed the year at the BISC in its first offering, and a full complement of 26 are registered for this fall.

“Offering this type of experience so early in their teaching practice really sets the BISC students apart and is likely to benefit their careers greatly,” says Christian Lloyd, Academic Director of the BISC. “Gaining exposure to the UK education system and progressing towards both their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education simultaneously will better equip these students for their chosen career path. We are pleased at the success of the first year offering of Concurrent Education and look forward to welcoming our second cohort this fall.”

Similar to the Concurrent Education program available in Kingston, the first year undergraduates are expected to spend some quality time in a grade school setting while they are students at the BISC. Each student is placed in a local primary school and a local secondary school – and the list of participating schools is growing thanks to the success of the first year.

During their time at the schools, a series of classroom observations organized at these host schools give students invaluable practical experience of working alongside other education professionals. The students can make connections between theory and practice through contact with children in real classrooms. Under the guidance of their hosts, the students are expected to assist the classroom teacher in one-on-one, or small group situations, and then discuss their observations with the host teacher afterwards.

In addition to the hands-on experience, the BISC held a dedicated Concurrent Education Careers Evening at the end of the fall term to help the students visualize where they will go after completing their studies. The evening featured a presentation by highly successful head teacher Sir Paul Grant, and an informal mixer afterwards where students had the chance to meet Liz Hubbell, a Queen’s alumnus now teaching in the UK, along with the head teacher of a local primary school, a recruiter specializing in the placement of overseas teachers in the UK, and representatives from East Sussex Local Education Authority.

Once they complete the first year studies, the students have the option of taking the accompanying classroom-taught module, ‘Self as Teacher’, on their return to Kingston either that summer, or the following fall.

“It was a joy to work with the students at Netherfield (my placement school), and the host teachers were incredibly welcoming and instructive – I learned so much from them,” says Charis Foster (Artsci’20, Ed’21), a student who has completed the Concurrent Education program. “I would highly recommend the First Year Con-Ed program at the Castle for anyone, especially those who hope to teach overseas."

For more information about Concurrent Education at the BISC, click here. You can also learn about the Kingston-based Concurrent Education program here.

International students receive an early welcome

While the majority of students arrive or return to Queen’s over the Labour Day weekend for Orientation Week, many international students are already on campus.

"QUIC student staff"
Student staff at the Queen's University International Centre are welcoming international students to the university community. (Supplied Photo)

International student orientation activities at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) began this week, as more international students arrive in town early to allow themselves more time to settle.

“Starting university can be both exciting and challenging, and for international students, the transition can be magnified when you are far from family and friends and may be adjusting to a new culture,” says QUIC Director Jyoti Kotecha. “We hope students will consider QUIC their home away from home, and use the centre to access campus services and information, meet new people, and start to connect to their new community.”

The centre is open until 8 pm every evening until Sept. 10, and is offering information sessions, social events, and walking tours of campus and facilities, including the ARC and the Isabel. As in previous years, upper year students have been hired to welcome, assist and mentor their new peers in recognition of the value of peer-to-peer connection and support. 

“Our programming is designed to help ease what can be a significant transition for incoming international students,” says QUIC Programs Coordinator Hanna Stanbury. “We aim to orient new students to campus, the Kingston community and to Canada, by offering various activities including a session about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and a bus trip to Toronto. We are really excited to welcome every student to Queen’s.”

For more information about all of the events and activities, vist the QUIC website.

Agreement with Chinese Consulate will boost student mobility

Provost Benoit Antoine-Bacon and Consul General He Wei speak at the University Club
Provost Benoit Antoine-Bacon and Consul General He Wei speak at the University Club.

Queen's University has signed an exciting new agreement with The Education Office, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto. This new Memorandum of Understanding will see up to 10 Queen’s students per year offered a China Scholarship Council scholarship which would allow them to complete part of their studies in China.

The MOU was signed Friday during a campus visit by Consul General He Wei. The agreement aims to promote student mobility at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, across all disciplines. The scholarship will specifically support Queen’s students who wish to further understand China, learn the Chinese language, or study at Chinese universities. The scholarship will be awarded annually to either five students for a full academic year, or 10 students for one term.

Signing the MOU on behalf of Queen’s was Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“Increased cultural awareness, intellectual development, personal development, and career opportunities are only some of the benefit of International learning opportunities,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “This new agreement aligns with our Comprehensive International Plan by enhancing our relationship with China and growing our reputation as a truly international institution. We are pleased to partner with the Consulate General to open up this exciting opportunity for our students, and we look forward to the announcement of our first recipients this fall.”

In addition to the signing ceremony, Mr. He’s first ever visit to Queen’s included meetings with the Vice-Principal (Research), and with the Director of China Liaison Office, followed by a lunch hosted by the Provost. Topics of discussion included research collaboration, student mobility, faculty exchange, and non-academic student support services. The visit was a part of Mr. He’s introduction to Canada – he became China’s new Consul General in Toronto in April.

During the last academic year, 19 Queen’s students participated in an exchange with partners in China and 24 participated in the Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) program, which provides students with fully funded study opportunities in China. Queen's is one of seven Canadian university members of the CLIC program, which was formed in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE), the China Scholarship Council, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada, and a number of top Chinese universities.

To learn more about exchange opportunities for Queen’s students, visit the International Programs Office website.

Collaboration on sustainability and development continues to grow

  • Participants in the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development, including a delegation of faculty and graduate students from Tongji University, gather for a group photo in the Biosciences Complex at Queen's. (Supplied Photo)
    Participants in the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development, including a delegation of faculty and graduate students from Tongji University, gather for a group photo in the Biosciences Complex at Queen's. (Supplied Photo)
  • Stephen Lougheed (Biology), Director of the Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) provides a tour of the facility for a delegation from Tongji University. (Supplied Photo)
    Stephen Lougheed (Biology), Director of the Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) provides a tour of the facility for a delegation from Tongji University. (Supplied Photo)
  • Tongji University master's student Liu Jinling presents her research as part of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)
    Tongji University master's student Liu Jinling presents her research as part of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)
  • Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher welcomes Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson during the opening of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)
    Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher welcomes Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson during the opening of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)

A delegation of faculty and graduate students from Tongji University visited Queen’s on July 13-15 for the 3rd annual Sino-Canada Workshop on Environmental Sustainability and Development.

[Tri-Colour Globe]
Queen's in the World

The event, an initiative by the Department of Biology and School of Environmental Studies with their Chinese counterparts, featured presentations on current research projects and discussions for future collaboration opportunities. Also attending the workshop were government and industry representatives from China. Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), Innovation Park and Queen’s Industry Partnerships hosted a very informative session at Innovation Park which showcased some of the water technologies that exist in the local economy.

Queen’s and Tongji have collaborated on various projects in recent years including the 2+2 Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, a long-standing Joint Biology Field Course that occurs in China and the Queen’s in alternating years, and the Sino-Canada Network for Environment and Sustainable Development.

Internationalization in one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. China is a region of focus within the plan. For more information on the Queen’s-China Connection and Queen’s international program overall, visit the International website.

Canada-India conference builds on common ground

A recent conference hosted by Queen’s University explored the intersection of the Canadian practice of mutual accommodation and India’s use of non-violent action in addressing societal issues.

"Father Nicholas Barla holds a statue as Mohawk elder Laurel Claus-Johnson looks on during the opening dinner"
Father Nicholas Barla, who traveled from India to take part in the Gathering on Common Ground: Building Harmony through Diversity in Canada and India conference, holds up a statue as Mohawk elder Laurel Claus-Johnson looks on during the opening dinner held at the University Club. (Supplied photo)

Gathering on Common Ground: Building Harmony through Diversity in Canada and India brought together approximately 60 people from a broad range of backgrounds, including students and faculty members, as well as representatives from the private and public sectors. Women and men were equally represented and half of attendees were from India or of Indian heritage.

Another key element was the participation of Indigenous people from both Canada and India.

The objective of the conference, explain co-organizers Hugh Helferty, former Executive-in-Residence at the Smith School of Business and current adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry, and Paul Schwartzentruber, Associate Member, Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity, was to build on the experiences in mutual accommodation and non-violent action to help develop innovative, effective approaches and solutions on an array of societal issues.

After opening the conference together on the first day, attendees were placed into workgroups of six to eight people representing a variety of backgrounds.

It was a great opportunity for participants to interconnect and learn from each other, says Dr. Helferty.

“I think the richness of the conversation came from that diversity. We structured the workshops to make sure that we had this mix. I think that helped a lot,” he says. “Mostly this was a group of complete strangers getting together and I really do think we made progress toward creating a community that is willing to take some further action on this. We asked people to work on these problems and come up with ideas about what possibly might be done. The next step is to further understand and develop these ideas, share that, and figure out what to do.”

The workshops approached four challenge areas that India and Canada have in common – Indigenous peoples; minorities – religious and ethnic; poverty and economic inequality and; gender-based struggles for justice.

“These are key themes in the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity”, says Margaret Moore (Political Studies), Director of the centre and a sponsor of the conference.

The result was the sharing of experiences from different viewpoints and the development of novel ideas to help address some of these issues.

“Hugh and I just sort of synchronized on the idea that this should be a working conference where people got into small groups and a very mixed, inter-cultural dialogue happens,” Mr. Schwartzentruber says. “That was, from my point of view, the real success of things, that we had a lively, vibrant debate across many tiers of society and across the countries. People who wouldn’t probably have talked to each other really got into the meaty issues with each other.”

Another commonality is that in 2017 Canada is marking 150 years since its founding while in 2019 India will be celebrating 150 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba. In line with this, a follow-up conference is proposed to be held in India in two years’ time.

The conference opened with two keynote addresses on the main themes: William A. Macdonald provided the background on mutual accommodation and Rajagopal PV discussed the role of non-violent social movements in building an inclusive society.

Through the many discussions attendees found that, despite their different histories and social structures, India and Canada have much in common, from the experiences of Indigenous peoples to a history of cooperation and collaboration.

“I think the overarching theme of the conference is this concept of the otherness of the other, of not trying to make the other the same, but to appreciate the otherness of the other,” says Jill Carr-Harris, a specialist on Indian development policies, nonviolence activist, and researcher on poverty reduction, and gender and education, who traveled from India to attend the conference. “One rich idea was to break the majority-minority idea because minorities, marginalized people, are defined by the mainstream, which allows the legitimization of two classes or many classes, different identities, where they are less powerful than the other. What one group decided to do was not talk about multiculturalism, because that is kind of tolerating divisions. So what they talked about is intercultural awareness instead.”

For more information about the conference, including the full program, visit the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity website.

A taste of Canadian culture and politics

"Australian students participating in Queen’s Political Studies Summer Institute hold a Canadian flag as they stand in front of Niagara Falls"
Students from Australian National University participating in Queen’s Political Studies Summer Institute (QPSSI) hold a Canadian flag as they visit Niagara Falls. (Supplied Photo)

An innovative program in Canada, Queen’s Political Studies Summer Institute (QPSSI) recently welcomed 10 students from Australian National University (ANU) to participate in a hands-on learning experience, studying the political landscape of Canada.

"Tri-Colour Globe"
Queen's In the World

The program, now in its second year, was developed by Jonathan Rose (Political Studies) and master’s student, Elisha Corbett.

“QPSSI is truly a unique experience because it is the first political studies institute in Canada. It’s also unique compared to other political studies institutes in North America in that its primary learning objective is a hands-on learning experience,” says Ms. Corbett.

The program, which ran this summer from June 30 to July 15, combined a lecture-style education with the benefits of interactive learning through field trips that complemented the material. The students learned about the Canadian political system before being taken on a parliamentary tour of Ottawa, and likewise were versed in Quebec nationalism before visiting Old Montreal. At the completion of the program, students return to their home institution with the equivalent of a Queen’s one term credit in Canadian Politics.

“After doing research on other summer institute programs in Canada, I realized they all lacked the fundamental component of experiencing Canada in a hands-on way,” says Ms. Corbett, “I felt compelled to create a program where Canada’s unique narrative and history could be learned without a textbook.”

The benefits of experiential learning in a cross-cultural capacity are not lost on the student participants.

“Because I have always lived in Australia, as much as I would like to say I’m well versed in the world, my world view is somewhat narrow,” says Kelvin Chen, a first-year political science and philosophy major from ANU and participant in this summer’s QPSSI program. “This program fit well into my university agenda in terms of being able to expand my world view along the lines of my academic and personal growth pursuits.”

“What attracted me most to this program was the cultural experience and knowing that a cross-cultural exchange is the best way to understand a new culture, through immersion,” adds Leah Huang, another ANU participant.

Of particular interest to the students was the first hand contact with Canada’s binational culture.

“As an Australian, it’s very interesting to me that both Canada and Australia are remnants of the British Commonwealth and so I was excited to draw the similarities of our cultures. What surprised me was the strength of the francophone culture in Canada. It was interesting to see the contrast of francophone and anglophone culture in one country. That was a bit of a culture shock,” says Mr. Chen.

“I understand Canada’s French and British colonial differences, but Canada has been federated for 150 years now, so the fact that Quebecers are so patriotic about their French heritage is very unique, I believe,” agrees Ms. Huang.

Ultimately, what Ms. Corbett and her team hope for the program is that the students come away with not just a credit, but a renewed idea of what Canada is and how Canadian politics work.

“I hope that the program challenges their preconceived notions of Canada,” says Emilio Frometa, a master’s student in Queen’s Industrial Relations and a QPSSI staff member. “Although Canada as a whole has its divides, we are blessed to be blanketed on the world stage by a narrative of Canada as a friendly peace-keeping nation. It’s important to really learn about and engage with the institutions of Canada as a unique country and not just a stereotype, and my hope is that the students form their own opinions about Canadian politics and Canada’s role in the world.”

More information on the institute and its programming, is available online.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

Global ambitions

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And your business. 

Greg Bavington speaks to an alumni audience in New York City about Queen’s Innovation programs including Principal Daniel Woolf, Julie Gordon-Woolf, and Julia Reid, President of the NY Branch of the Queen’s University Alumni Association. Over 50 alumni gathered to learn about Innovation at Queen’s and launch the New York Alumni node in the Innovation Alumni Network. (Supplied photo - credit: Dayvid Wolf Garcia)

That’s the concept behind the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre’s (DDQIC’s) Global Network program. The Global Network connects Queen’s graduates who are launching a business with a group of advisors and valuable connections in several large cities. The rapidly growing Global Network currently includes nodes in London, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Each node is guided by at least three volunteers who are well established in industries ranging from financial, regulatory, information technology, and other critical sectors.

“Knowing that the Canadian market makes up just 10 per cent of the overall North American market, we advise our student entrepreneurs to go international very quickly once their businesses are up and running,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. “In doing this, we recognized it would be helpful to support our student entrepreneurs with a soft landing wherever they go as they launch their businesses and transition out of the university. So, we have been working with our colleagues in Advancement and the International Office to establish these virtual nodes, comprised of alumni and influencers in key markets.”

Mr. Bavington believes the network could be expanded to a dozen nodes if the right contacts can be found in major markets, and he is currently seeking volunteers to be a part of the network’s inaugural Asia nodes. Oftentimes, these volunteers are Queen’s alumni.

“The Queen’s University Comprehensive International plan is premised on international collaboration, and our alumni base around the world is a key strength and differentiator,” says Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International). “The combination of student innovators and experienced alumni working together in different parts of the world in a global network is exciting, unique, and directly contributes to a transformative student learning experience.”

Ultimately, it is the volunteers who made the Global Network tick. Heather Christie (Artsci'09), CFA, is a Vice President with BlackRock's U.K. Retail London Discretionary Team, and chairs the London node. Ms. Christie says she was delighted to have the opportunity to spearhead the Global Network initiative in the U.K.

"It gives me the opportunity to stay connected to some of the absolutely brilliant businesses our students are cultivating at Queen's, but equally it gives me the opportunity to stay connected to Queen's alumni in the U.K. who have an interest in critiquing and helping to cultivate our next generation of Queen's grads to build enterprises that will truly make a difference in our global, social economy," says Ms. Christie.

"The 20 members of our hub in the U.K. have been really impressed with the quality of enterprises that have come through the Innovation Centre at Queen’s and we are all really excited to see the next developments in all of them," adds Ms. Christie. "The level of passion and ingenuity from our students coming from all sorts of backgrounds has genuinely provided all of us with such inspiration and excitement about this next generation of talent coming out of Queen's."

As for the entrepreneurs, the value is immediately obvious. Esther Jiang, co-founder of alternative protein business Gryllies, noted many of the company's early customers have had some connection to Queen's. "It has been great for our business to connect with the different international nodes of the network," says Ms. Jiang. "Queen’s alumni are very keen to support each other and I have seen that firsthand. As we launched our product, it was important to have reach outside of our local area and the Queen’s network has let us do that effectively."

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre team is currently seeking alumni and other influencers who might wish to participate in future Global Network nodes. If you are interested in this opportunity, or if you know of someone who might be, contact Greg Bavington at bavingtg@queensu.ca.

For more information on the Global Network program, visit the DDQIC’s website.

Record number of first year students to study at the castle

  • For hundreds of Canadian students this upcoming academic year, this will be home - historic Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England.
    For hundreds of Canadian students this upcoming academic year, this will be home - historic Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England.
  • Imagine this as your classroom as you study history, arts, or science. The Bader International Study Centre is 'a unique and special place to study and work'.
    Imagine this as your classroom as you study history, arts, or science. The Bader International Study Centre is 'a unique and special place to study and work'.
  • Why learn about historic art through a screen when you can see it in person? Students on a field trip visit the Musée Guimet in Paris.
    Why learn about historic art through a screen when you can see it in person? Students on a field trip visit the Musée Guimet in Paris.

With a new school year soon to begin, there is a renewed sense of enthusiasm and pride for staff and faculty at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC). The incoming class for the 2017-18 academic year is 139 first-year Queen’s students – the largest yet – and, with new Vice Provost and Executive Director Hugh Horton having just started his term, the next year looks to be a significant one in the campus’ history.

“This is a unique and special place to study, and to work, and I am excited to be joining the team at the BISC,” says Dr. Horton. “My first priorities include building on our recent strong enrolment performance, expanding our partnerships locally and with the Kingston campus, and continuing to refine and enhance the unique and personal student experience we have established at this campus. I look forward to building on the progress which has been made in recent years.”

Next year will mark 25 years since Queen’s University alumni Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel Bader (LLD’07) donated Herstmonceux Castle to Queen’s – now known as the Bader International Study Centre. Since then, the castle has undergone renovations, generated many new partnerships, and established itself as a significant and distinct member of the Canadian higher education landscape.

In addition to providing a home and educational campus to about 250 Canadian university students each year, the BISC is involved in a number of other business ventures year-round and additional revenue-generating plans are in the works to help offset the cost of operating the castle. For example, when not in use by students, the site serves as a centre for academic and business conferences, a venue for festivals, weddings, concerts, plays, workshops, and exhibitions, and as a bed-and-breakfast facility and a tourist attraction for visitors. It was recently named one of the top 10 castles in the UK for a family day out by The Guardian

“The BISC is a key part of Queen’s internationalization strategy, supporting the aims of our strategic framework,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “Our new programs have been very successful, both in terms of attracting excellent students, and in student outcomes.”

In recent years, programming at the BISC has expanded to include a first-year science program in 2015, and a concurrent education (arts) program in 2016. These two programs join the existing first-year arts program, and an international law program. All programs offer a unique educational experience: small class sizes and close contact with professors, an interdisciplinary and community-oriented environment, and the opportunity for experiential learning activities in an international setting, whether at the castle or in sites across Europe.

“The field studies offered while I was studying art history at the castle were truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and being lectured in front of the historic paintings I was studying were some of the most amazing academic experiences I have ever had,” Maddi Andrews (Artsci’19) said in a recent news article, reflecting on her experience learning about Claude Monet’s “Water Lillies” series.

To learn more about the BISC, visit queensu.ca/bisc.

International students offered taste of grad studies at Queen’s

Queen's in the World

Students from around the globe got a glimpse of life as a graduate student at Queen’s at a recent event held through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

Every summer, SGS invites students participating in the Mitacs Globalink international research internships to visit Queen’s and Kingston. During their day-long visit, the undergraduate students – who are spending the summer working on research projects at various Canadian universities (including Queen’s) – take a campus tour, meet with graduate students and professors from various fields, and take a trolley bus tour through Kingston.

“It’s an opportunity for them to learn about research opportunities at Queen’s and the advantages of studying and living in Kingston,” says Kim McAuley, Acting Vice-Provost and Dean, SGS.

Several international students visited Queen's last week, exploring graduate studies options, and touring campus and Kingston (with Kingston Trolley Tours, above). 

“The interns make personal connections with our faculty and current graduate students so they can envision studying as future master’s or PhD students at Queen’s. The interns see that current international graduate students are working on interesting research projects with talented professors. Globalink helps Queen’s attract top international graduate students with external funding from Mitacs.”

For Daniela Iribe Gonzalez, the Queen’s visit was a chance to explore Queen’s research program and see if it would be a good fit for her and her studies in geodetic engineering.

“I’d heard that Queen’s is really good at research. I enjoy the research and I want to do more,” says Ms. Iribe Gonzalez, a student from Mexico who is spending the summer on a Globalink internship at the University of Ottawa. While she hasn’t made any decisions on where she’ll apply to graduate school, she was impressed with what Queen’s offers. “People are very welcoming and the campus is beautiful,” she says.

Jiaqi Chen, from China, is currently a research intern at Queen’s, working with Professor Mark Daymond in Mechanical and Materials Engineering. He’s considering graduate studies in Canada, but has yet to make any firm application decisions.

“I’ve only been here about 10 days. The work I’m doing is different than I expected, but it’s interesting,” he says. “I find Kingston and Queen’s to be a quiet and beautiful place. Life is slower here than in China and the people are very nice. I’ve never been abroad before, and my English is not always great, but so far, I think everyone understands me and they have been helpful."

In total, Queen’s hosted seven Mitacs research interns and 13 undergraduate Globalink students from other universities at the event. Currently, seven Mitacs Graduate Research Fellows study at Queen’s, and this summer, the university is hosting nine undergraduate Globalink research interns. Many of them attended the event as well. More info about the organization’s internships and scholarships is available on their website.

Through existing and developing research collaborations, student mobility programs, and international activities at home, Queen’s continues to expand its global reach and offer students and researchers a diverse and enriching environment that pushes their thinking and offers them opportunities to create a lasting impact on their communities, and the world as a whole. Learn more on the International website.

 

 

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