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BEHIND THE SCENES: U of G looks to tap for-profit firm to attract international students

GuelphToday reporter Taylor Pace takes us behind the scenes
The University of Guelph is contemplating a partnership with Navitas, a private for-profit company that offers three-semester pre-university education and pathway programs to universities across the globe, to bring in more international students.
Navitas has partnerships with over 90 post-secondary institutions worldwide, four of which are in Canada. Navitas sets up a private college connected to the university once a partnership is formed, with first-year pathway programs leading to university degrees. Navitas provides its own instructors and develops course outlines based on the learning outcomes of the courses offered at the partner university.
The university's faculty association has formed a committee to oppose the partnership, citing concerns that academic standards are being compromised and that the partnership is exploitative. Navitas refutes these allegations, stating that it provides a new pathway to post-secondary education for international students. Associate vice-president (academic) Byron Sheldrick hopes that the program would attract an additional 200 international students over the next five years, with 30 or 40 students in the first cohort.
Video Summary:

The University of Guelph is considering partnering with Navitas, a for-profit company, to attract more international students to the university. Navitas offers a pathway program for students who do not meet the university's standards, providing them with additional courses and English language proficiency training before entering second year in one of their partner universities. However, the university's committee is concerned that this partnership may exploit international students and that the value of public education may decrease as a result of private companies creeping in.

The committee is also worried about the additional costs that international students will have to pay for Navitas' programs, which can range from $3,000 to $24,000. Faculty members are also concerned about intellectual property rights, as they fear that their course outlines and work may be used by the professors hired by Navitas. Some faculty members are taking precautions by removing their course outlines from online databases.

To attract more international students, the university has also hired an international recruiter, and they are exploring different avenues besides Navitas. The partnership with Navitas is the only for-profit avenue they have considered so far.