March 26, 2021
Humber College is taking part in the development of a risk management protocol for education abroad that colleges and institutes across Canada can follow and benefit from.
Partnering with the Nova Scotia Community College and the insurance provider guard.me, Humber is engaged in a collaborative project called the “Risk Management Toolkit for Colleges and Institute Canada (CICan) Members.”
The project is funded by the Government of Canada’s “Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program.”
Colleges and Institutes to Benefit from Data, Resources, and Guides
The project involves two outputs. The first output involves:
By disseminating this data widely, all CICan members will benefit from the ability to utilize the data when implementing and testing risk management protocols, as well as in making recommendations.
The second output is the development of a Risk Management Toolkit, which will further serve to provide resources and guides to institutions when creating their own unique travel safety strategy.
Additionally, the Risk Management Toolkit will help strengthen the culture of outbound mobility and innovate new and more accessible opportunities to support students to participate in physical mobility abroad. Institutions at various stages of their risk management protocols have the capacity to look toward new approaches which could further innovate the landscape and open accessibility for physical mobility to a larger variety of students.
COVID-19 Highlighted Lack of Collaborative Risk Management
Why is this necessary? Risk management is a crucial aspect of any institution, but particularly in education abroad. Individual institutions take the safety of students extremely seriously and are committed to making it a priority, however, the level of risk management protocol and procedure within institutions across Canada varies tremendously.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the need for collaborative efforts in risk management. After all, it wasn’t just an individual institution that was impacted, but the entire post-secondary sector. Making the right decision for students abroad, while evaluating the safety and pivoting education for every student at-home, highlighted how integral it is that international departments be prepared to give data-driven and accurate recommendations quickly.
“When international crisis hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us in the international sector began informal discussions with our colleagues at other institutions to ask for advice,” said Rebecca Fitzgerald, Associate Director, International Mobility and Strategic Partnerships.
“It became very clear that there is no baseline across institutions in Canada on how to approach risk mitigation. The project enables collaboration among institutions and creates a collective endeavor that will benefit all CICan members in proactively mitigating risk in education abroad programming within their institutions once physical mobility can continue.”
By mitigating institutional risk through the development of consistent tools, policies and procedures to ensure the safety and security of traveling faculty, staff and students, the project also aligns with Humber’s Internationalization Strategy.