Innovation Fund

Program Innovation Fund.

Due to COVID-19, the first phase of the Global Skills Opportunity program focused on innovation to help institutions test new tools and approaches, adapt mobility programming to COVID-19, and build the foundation for the launch of the full program.

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Student Engaged Learning and Support in Outbound Mobility

Western University

This project supported the development and integration of student access to international learning opportunities, risk management practices, including pre-departure training and post-experience support, for students participating in international mobility programs at Western and its Affiliated University Colleges. Key outcomes focused on the development and enhancement of robust wraparound supports for student safety prior to, during, and post international experience, including culturally relevant content for Indigenous students participating in international mobility programs.

Overcoming Barriers to Study Abroad for Better Engagement of Indigenous Students: An Indigenous Based Approach to Data Collection and Design

Wilfrid Laurier University

Laurier’s Indigenous Initiatives office with support from Laurier International, set out to better understand Indigenous students’ learning needs and obstacles related to international education. By gathering knowledge about the student experience and needs and wants in a culturally appropriate way, the project generated evidence-based insights that will inform the design of learning abroad programs so they meet students’ ways of learning and requirements for a safe and healthy experience. The project has three stages: data collection; program design development; and communications and promotions planning.

International Indigenous Student Exchange Program

York University

York University launched the International Indigenous Student Exchange Program (virtual pilot) providing opportunities for cross-cultural dialogues and collaboration between Indigenous students at York and their peers in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and the Philippines. Through a series of facilitated workshops over eight weeks, students expanded their knowledge of Indigenous histories, languages and cultures, the land, and spirituality in a safe and inclusive virtual environment. A Knowledge Fair (public) was organized to showcase culminating projects of the students addressing knowledge gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Identifying and Reducing Barriers to International Exchange Opportunities for Students with Disabilities at the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

Using a participatory action approach, this project aimed to identify and reduce barriers to exchange for students with disabilities. The project design promoted extremely high levels of student engagement. This enabled students to contribute to the development, and testing, of resources that aim to reduce barriers to exchange and enhance student support. This project engaged students with disabilities via a novel partnership between Waterloo’s Student Success Office and AccessAbility Services. Deliverables include an on-campus resource and referral map, a toolkit, and a survey to host partners that will enable us to promote their wellness and disability supports.

Enhancing faculty engagement in short-term international study abroad programs

University of Windsor

This project to seek to carryout research and capacity-building activities to better understand the barriers that faculties, students and staff face when offering or participating in short-term faculty-led mobility programs. The overall objective is to increase student participation in outbound mobility by providing more short-term study abroad opportunities.

Understanding barriers to student participation in outbound mobility to Latin America

Vancouver Island University

To increase collaboration with Latin American universities, Vancouver Island University undertook a survey of students to understand, the main barriers to outbound mobility. The survey paid particular attention to perceptions of Latin America to better understand how to motivate students to participate in mobility opportunities in that region to identify barriers to participation in mobility opportunities with Latin America.