For Zemin Deng, PhD, it was his first time at Niagara College in more than 20 years, and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus left him amazed at the College’s advancements.
Deng expressed NC’s identity as a pre-emptive college as the best way to summarize what he learned while visiting the campus, and meeting with faculty and staff.
On May 8, NC welcomed honourable guests Zemin Deng, director and deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education at the Central Institute for Vocational and Technical Education, Ministry of Education in China as well as Paul Brennan, former vice-president of International Partnerships at Colleges and Institutes Canada and now senior partner and consultant at InnovEd ODT Canada, a consultancy firm for colleges and with colleges within Canada and internationally.
The delegates were received at the NOTL Campus by College president Dan Patterson, vice president of international Sean Kennedy, director of academic excellence Mary Wilson as well as regional international student recruitment manager of East Asia, James Maur.
“Connecting with internationally-renowned leaders in vocational education such as Dr. Deng and Mr. Brennan is a real privilege,” said Wilson.
“The conversations regarding the design of higher education systems, the development of policies and practices, areas of focused activities and strengths, as well as the unique nature of teaching, learning and curriculum in advanced vocational education reveal common passions, interests and concerns, and highlight the ways in which colleagues from around the world can work in common purpose to enrich education for our students and the contributions of the college sector to social and economic development.”
Deng and Brennan are visiting colleges around Canada, conducting research for a book they are co-writing about the Canadian college system which they anticipate to be released in 2019. The book will highlight the Canadian college system’s assets and advantages, serving as an educational tool for China’s colleges. NC was selected to be featured in Deng and Brennan’s tour of colleges due to NC’s strong reputation as a pre-emptive college.
“Niagara College is a key example of how colleges are not only a source of training, but can also play an active role in stimulating renewed economic development and revitalization for the region,” said Brennan. “Dr. Dan Patterson is an incredible role model for that kind of leadership.”
Brennan noted how impressed he was with the College’s regional ties and its approach to lead the community in terms of industry partnerships. He also complimented NC’s curriculum development, professional development and its systematic approach to ensure students receive the best experience possible.
To give context to their book, Brennan explained that China traditionally values university for postsecondary education. With about 1,250 colleges in China, Deng and Brennan hope to encourage Chinese institutions to build upon their lecture-based curriculums with work integrated learning to become more closely linked to the needs of its surrounding industries. Brennan hopes the book will also provide insight to college branding and marketing.
The day featured discussions about Niagara College’s role in regional economic development and its journey to become a pre-emptive college. The day concluded with a tour of the NOTL Campus and its learning enterprises.
Visits such as these demonstrate Niagara College’s leadership as a global college through its constant engagement, and support in Technical Vocational Education and Training around the world.