International applications up

Applicants from both near and far are increasingly choosing Queen’s

Applications from international students were up 15 per cent this year, compared to three per cent from Ontario.
Applications from international students were up 15 per cent this year, compared to three per cent from Ontario.

Applications for undergraduate admission have increased by 15 per cent this year among international students.

This compares to a three per cent spike in Ontario applicants and an eight per cent increase in non-Ontario applicants. The number of Ontario students who identified Queen’s as their first choice also rose by seven per cent.

Associate University Registrar Stuart Pinchin said this growth is the result of several factors, including expanding efforts in attracting international students.

“The Office of the University Registrar — Undergraduate Admission increased our international recruitment activities this past fall, travelling to Brazil, China, England, Hong Kong, India, Turkey and the United States,” Pinchin told the Journal via email.  Queen’s admission representatives visited hundreds of schools in Ontario alone in 2012, as well as schools in all other provinces and territories except for Nunavut and Prince Edward Island.

A four per cent increase was also noted in applications from “self-identified Aboriginal students.” Admission doesn’t close until Feb. 1, but according to a statement released by the University, “Undergraduate and Admissions and Student Awards worked closely to boost the number of early offers of admission, scholarship and bursary to high academic achievers.”Information wasn’t available on how this year’s recruitment efforts compared to previous years.

“We review and update our travel plans each year in an effort to best achieve the strategic enrolment priorities of the University,” Pinchin said.

The University’s international community isn’t, of course, restricted to the seven nations where recruitment is focused. Over 1,300 international students from more than 80 countries currently call Queen’s home.

In his May 2012 “vision document,” titled the Third Juncture, Principal Daniel Woolf prioritized increasing Queen’s global reputation over the next decade, which currently “lags our national profile.” In January, he told the Journal that the University has been developing an international strategy over the last couple years.

“Internationalization [is] a very key goal of mine for the University and it’s going to take some time,” he said. “We are on the brink of presenting an international strategy to the Senate and to the Board [of Trustees].”

Chúk Odenigbo, ArtSci ’13, first heard about Queen’s hours after arriving in Canada on his way to his new school in Hamilton, ON. Odenigbo, who previously attended high school in Molo, Kenya, said he’d never seen any advertising or recruitment by Queen’s prior to moving to Canada.

He added that he thinks the increase in international applications is interesting, but that he believes the University needs to increase advertising.

“In the year I started at Queen’s, there were very few international kids who had never been to Canada because, outside of Canada, people have barely heard of Queen’s,” he told the Journal via email.

He said he thinks the benefits of an international education include experiencing different cultures, flexibility of learning, travel and learning new languages.

Ekaterina Manoylenko, who hails from Moscow, Russia, also hadn’t encountered any advertisements for Queen’s at home. Following an exchange to the US during high school, she decided to pursue post-secondary education outside of Russia and chose Canada, specifically, and Queen’s after researching what she wanted and falling for the “wild” Queen’s spirit.

“I am excited for the new international applicants and I am excited to have people from different backgrounds here at Queen’s,” Manoylenko, ArtSci ’15, told the Journal via email.

She added that she thinks the experience allows for personal growth and opens doors.

“Also, you become friends with fantastic people from completely different backgrounds than you. It is fascinating,” she said. “International education is a great gift I will thank my parents and this university for the rest of my life.”

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