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A History of Internationalization at Humber

Monday 12th, 2018

Since the 1970s, Humber has been engaged in international activities and projects.

Humber’s first internationalization strategy was launched in 2013 which focused on the institution’s commitment to creating a global-ready community of students, faculty and staff. At the 2015 CICan Awards of Excellence Humber was awarded Gold for internationalization excellence in recognition of its efforts to include international activities in several aspects of its strategic plan.

Here is a breakdown of our key international activities over the past 20 years.

International Projects in the 1990s - Training, Recruitment and Beyond:

  • 1996: we had our first cohort of enrollment with students from Ningbo, China and we had a projected enrollment goal of approximately 5% international enrolment of total enrolment.
  • 1998: Our first recruitment abroad occurred in India, expanding our focus from international projects to attracting international students to Humber bringing global perspectives to the classroom.

Evolving in 2000s – Expansion, Enrollment Growth and Joint Partnerships:

  • 2005 – The International Centre was a small department with only six full-time staff members, four contracted staff and one director with a focus on projects, partnership development and recruitment
  • 2006 - CIC introduces the off-campus work permit in 2006 allowing full-time students to work off campus while studying.
  • 2007 - The postgraduate work permit was introduced by CIC allowing graduates to pursue work in Canada upon graduation for up to three years.
  • 2008 - The first exchange agreements were signed.
  • 2009 - Enrollment of international students grew significantly as a result of the Student Partners Program (SPP) program which streamlined the study permit process for Indian students coming to Humber College.

Diane Simpson, Director of International (2005-2012), Dean of International (2012-2016) and current Senior International Consultant of the International Centre of Humber College breaks down the internal strategies and results over the past 10 years: “Over the last 10 years we have seen a growth of almost 10 times the number of international student choosing Humber to further their post-secondary studies. Over the years we have developed programming to support our international student population through specialized programing including: Passport to Success, our online orientation program, and the Connect buddy program. In 2013 we launched our first internalization strategy recognizing the vital role international plays throughout the Humber community.

Current – Growth and the New Internationalization Strategy:

As of today, the International Centre has expanded to 54 members (including 21 part-time staff). The internationalization strategy for 2018, Internationalization 2.0, positions Humber as a global leader in polytechnic education. It focuses on creating a new generation of global citizens that will contribute to the social and economic development of society as a whole. It will create global learning for students, faculty and staff on campus and abroad.

These photos come from the Humber Archive ranging from the 1970s-1990s showcasing a glimpse of international initiatives.

1970s - A faculty member works with International students in an English as a Second
Language classroom. Notice the cassette tape players and headphones in the photo.
International visitors to the campus after a shopping spree with the construction of North
Campus Phase II building "E" in the background.

International visitors to the campus after a shopping spree with the construction of
North Campus Phase II building "E" in the background.

1980s- An event marking the expansion of international development projects to over 30

1990s- Archive photo from 1991 of international students.