Vantage College at University of British Columbia

Work / Education

Vantage College at University of British Columbia

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:30 pm

CBC News posted an article link about the new building at UBC that will be exclusively for international student housing. Mind you, the students will be paying $50,000 annually for tuition, 24/7 security plus housing and their first year will focus on academic English, cultural transitions built into their courses and the expectations that the students follow the university rules and academic guidelines to qualify for second-year entry into their degree programs.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-s-vantage-college-canadians-need-not-apply-1.2826142?cmp=rss

On Twitter, some commenters are upset at the exclusion of Canadian students from the building. Well, the international students are funding that building. So I took a few minutes to look at the UBC site and through their Asia Pacific Regional Office site, saw a link for Vantage College. The link explains that no funding for international students attending UBC is received from Canadian and British Columbian governments. There was a process over a few years to get the project to its construction status now. http://ubcapro.hk/2013/09/26/recruitment-preparations-in-full-swing-at-new-ubc-vantage-college/

No impact on domestic student placements: The new UBC Vantage College student places created (300 in 2014, 600 in 2015 and the planned maximum of 1,000 in 2016) do not affect the number of domestic student seats at UBC. The university received funding from the BC government for domestic students, who form 84% of the UBC undergraduate student population.

UBC approvals: Vantage College and the International Program proposal were initially approved on March 20th 2013 by the university’s academic governing body for the Vancouver campus – the UBC Vancouver Senate. Following consultation with the Alma Mater Society, the UBC Board of Governors approved the UBC Vantage College tuition program fee and capital plan proposals on June 4th 2013.

UBC Vantage College tuition program fee: Tuition for students enrolled in the International Program reflects both programmatic costs and general campus operations support, since UBC does not receive Canadian or BC government funding for international students. The UBC Alma Mater Society and its constituent International Students Association were consulted and approved the proposed program fee, which is comparable and competitive with peer institutions offering similar programs.

Financial support: A significant part of the total College revenues will be set aside for student assistance. Approved applicants without sufficient financial means will be eligible for the UBC Vantage College awards.


Part of the CBC article mentions that domestic students have had to deal with a housing shortage and wanted the university to build to alleviate that need. Perhaps the students should discuss with its student union the long-term planning idea of either buying an existing building to run as a dormitory or consider holding a referendum if students would be willing to pay a fee for a certain number of years to build a student-union funded/owned dormitory.

I know that post-secondary students are trying to keep aware of current issues while attending school. But in this Internet age where most schools have portals for e-mails and news and academic records, surely a few clicks on their computers would have given upset students the information reassuring them that the new college is not being funded by domestic financial sources. Isn't critical thinking part of the post-secondary academic program? If one was inclined, s/he could likely attend university meetings on some of the key matters being decided upon that will impact student learning/courses/infrastructure. One has to decide what's important and if a job after school keeps him/her afloat for survival needs, then following the news on the school portals and using e-mails to submit concerns/potential solutions to the student union and university governors could be a workaround to not being able to attend meetings in person.

It's very hard to excite most students about the meetings involved to get from point A to point B, especially if the outcome may arrive after one finishes his or her studies by that time a few years later. However, spending some time reading the important news of campus business matters more than another bar night out, watching television or playing games online.

It's just as hard to tell your fellow classmates to turn out to vote in student council elections especially if there is a fee question on the ballot. Students complain about the cost of education but less than 10% of full-time students will bother to vote at their campus on such student matters. Then when the increase takes effect, some students go on social media and to the television and newspaper outlets to complain about the cost of school. Well, why did you not invest in the process earlier when your input could have been heard?
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