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Adding new voices to Canada’s Future


A strategy driven by values to bring diverse voices together through education


Columbia College – one of Canada’s longest established international not-for-profit Colleges – is pleased to release the 2023-2025 Strategic Plan to empower international students to find their voice in Canada and the world. Inspired by recent challenges, and vulnerabilities, faced by international students across Canada the College has made a commitment to build on 85 years of success to support newcomer students for the long term. 

With the launch of this Strategic Plan the College is committing 100% of all revenues and resources into educational programs, pathways, and partnerships that enable the success of newcomer students. The Plan centres on 4 pillars grounded in tangible initiatives to help students succeed:  

  1. Diverse and Empowered Student Voices: whereby students can develop confidence in their voice through the exchange of ideas to better contribute to and inspire the community.  
  2. Connections and Relationships for Success: whereby students can develop a foundation to begin a meaningful life built upon deep connections and relationships  
  3. Equitable Access to Education: whereby the College will increase pathways to higher education in BC  
  4. Responsive Programming & Academic Excellence: whereby student needs are met through responsive programming, and flexible progressions, that engage the community, instructors, staff, alumni, and partners. 

Programs that have been developed, or are being piloted, as part of these four pillars include expanded and innovative wrap-around supports customized to the needs of international students, expanded housing, programming approaches that prioritize the value of diverse backgrounds, funding to support new scholarships and work placements to support international students during their studies that lead to further education or in-demand careers 

Principal Robin Hemmingsen emphasizes the importance of these programs for the College: “As an increasing number of international students are welcomed to Canada each year, it’s critical for educational institutions to invest in supports, to value diverse backgrounds, and to adopt shared decision-making practices that foster true belonging.” In addition to the programs listed above, over $4 million will be allocated to scholarships in the next 3 years to reduce financial barriers faced by newcomer students.  

Since 1936, the College has helped students find their voice with confidence by supporting them as they explore the ideas and tools that will help shape their future. As a registered charity, all revenues and resources are invested into student programs. Further, as a not-for-profit institution, all society members have a voice in how the College is run. This means the direction of the College, and the educational approach it adopts, is determined by those who understand the needs of the students the most.