2015 NKUHT students at Humber
November 1, 2019
Whether taking Humber to the world or bringing the world to Humber, international partnerships play a critical role in creating impactful global learning opportunities for our students and faculty – and are key components of Humber’s Internationalization Strategy.
One of Humber’s longest-standing and most successful partnerships is with Taiwan’s National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (NKUHT). For nearly 17 years, the two institutions have worked closely together to develop a dynamic mutually beneficial relationship. It’s a leading-edge partnership that facilitates two-way student and faculty exchanges, joint programming development and delivery and has established an enduring cultural bridge between Canada and Taiwan.
This two-dimensional partnership was the first of its kind for Humber. The alliance has evolved as an ongoing success story and a model for how globally minded institutions can strategically work together to provide their communities with career-enhancing and life-changing international learning experiences.
AN EXAMPLE OF INTERNATIONALIZATION AT ITS BEST
On a visit to Canada in 2002, NKUHT president, Dr Jimmy Yung connected with Humber’s Alister Mathieson, Retired Vice President, Advancement and External Affairs (then Dean of School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism)—both seeking new ways to create new opportunities for their students to acquire international experience. The result was a trailblazing exchange program that established a two-way flow of global academic pathways and learning experiences.
The partnership was an immediate success and grew rapidly, with a cohort of seven NKUHT students arriving at Humber in 2003 and the annual number growing to more than 30 students in just a few years. The year-long exchange at Humber has been an exceptional opportunity for NKUHT students, who get the chance to study in English alongside Canadian students and gain exposure to North America’s hospitality industry. The exchange also includes a hands-on work placement in Canada, which the Taiwanese students have excelled at and become fantastic ambassadors for Humber across the country, opening several new doors with industry partners in the process.
Rounding out the exchange, the first group of Humber students travelled to Taiwan in 2010, completing the fourth semester of their Humber diploma program at NKUHT. As many international partnerships focus solely on one-way exchanges into Canada, this two-dimensional reciprocal relationship was an exception and subsequently has become the model adopted by the Taiwan Ministry of Education for all future international partnerships.
“The partnership between our two institutions is really quite unique – it is a two-way exchange program involving faculty and students and the development of shared international curriculum, academic practices and internship experiences,” says Mathieson. “It is an example of internationalization at its best.”
PARTNERSHIP EVOLVES TO INCLUDE FACULTY AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE
From student mobility, the partnership soon expanded to provide valuable global learning opportunities for faculty at both Humber and NKUHT. NKUHT professors travel to Humber as student mentors but also to teach a number of internationally-focused tourism programs to Humber students. In return, Humber faculty regularly reciprocate at NKHUT, spending a year teaching courses to local and international students, as well as providing teaching instruction to NKUHT faculty. Most recently, Humber faculty partnered with NKHUT for the very first global delivery of the Humber’s International Teaching Effectiveness Certificate (ITEC) .
As this special partnership has evolved and the two communities have interconnected, one of the incredible developments has been the formation of a powerful cultural bridge between Canada and Taiwan. As a result of the exchange program, Humber has become a significant partner of the Taiwanese community in Toronto. In 2012, Humber was selected as a Taiwan Academy Contact Centre, serving as a hub for cultural exchange between Taiwan and the international community. Similarly, Humber has received the same status in Taiwan and we’ve been welcomed as part of the local community at NKUHT in Kaohsiung.
THE ENDURING VALUE OF TWO-WAY INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
The ongoing success of the Humber-NKUHT partnership calls attention to the importance and value of these innovative global initiatives and mutually beneficial exchanges. The reciprocal flow of benefits is crucial for building deeper, stronger, more strategic connections that open doors for students and faculty and develops the skills and knowledge required for global citizenship and leadership.
“It’s a perfect example that reflects two key pillars of our internationalization strategy,” says Mathieson, “bringing international learners to Canada and introducing Canadian learners to worldwide learning opportunities.”
Humber students in Taiwan