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Chris Whitaker, President, Humber College, presenting Harald Mikkelsen President, VIA the Inuit carving  -
with Phil Ker, President Otago Polytechnic looking on.


Global Polytechnic Alliance Celebrates Successful First Year

October 17, 2019

At the 2019 President’s Breakfast, Chris Whitaker mentioned the success of Humber’s role in the Global Polytechnic Alliance (GPA). We are pleased to provide an update on the GPA and its three major project commitments.


What is the Global Polytechnic Alliance?

The Global Polytechnic Alliance (GPA) is an international academic partnership that brings three like-minded institutions, from different corners of the globe, together to work on multinational solutions that wouldn’t be achievable by a single institution.

Last October, Humber College, Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand) and VIA University College (Denmark) signed a formal declaration of partnership in New Zealand.

“Humber has been very careful to only commit to international academic partnerships when there is a clear path available for us to benefit from joint programming in a number of academic areas. The breadth and volume of activity with international academic partners is a testament to the success of this approach. And the GPA was conceived to be a furthering of this approach,” said Andrew Ness, Dean, Humber Global.


Three major commitments of GPA

The partnership is focused on achieving multilateral outcomes that are not possible with only one institution.  The three major project commitments made during the initial New Zealand meetings, in 2018, were:   

  1. Jointly developed micro-credentials
  2. Jointly developed and delivered programming (credentials)
  3. Joint applied research

Benefits of the international academic partnership

The partnership equally benefits students, faculty and institutions in many ways. It not only increases opportunities for students at each institution to gain international experience and intercultural skills but beyond the classroom, collaborative research initiatives enhance teaching and supportive services at the three institutions.

Applied research initiatives strengthen ties with industry globally and the three institutions is collaborating on education consultancy services to new and emerging polytechnics globally.


Annual summit of the GPA at VIA University, Denmark

In early October, leaders from the three institutions met at VIA University in Denmark for the annual GPA Summit Meeting 2019. This first summit mapped the progress of the past 12 months, put forth ideas for future development and presented updates on the GPA’s main initiatives. “The GPA meetings in Denmark advanced all of our joint projects. Our micro credentials initiative has had a very positive early reception by corporate partners in Ontario. We will continue to develop our offerings and expand use of the micro credentials platform that we were granted only because of our commitments to the alliance,” said Ness.

“During this third meeting of the senior leaders of the GPA institutions, it was evident that the activities of the GPA to date solidify the original vision of leveraging our collective leadership in polytechnic education.  Several initiatives are underway providing unique opportunities for our learners, faculty and institutions globally,” said Alister Mathieson, Vice President Advancement and External Affairs and one of the founders of the GPA.


Working towards another year of positive outcomes

With these initiatives quickly progressing, we are anticipating another year of positive outcomes that will result in further strengthening the understanding of the benefits of polytechnic education across the globe. We are very excited for Humber to be a part of this international academic partnership and the way it has benefited our students, faculty and partner institutions.


We look forward to sharing updates in the coming months and we congratulate the many faculty and staff who have worked hard to support this project.