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SFU renews College partnership

October 7, 2010

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The board of governors has approved a 10-year renewal of SFU’s partnership agreement with Fraser International College (FIC), the Burnaby campus private college that provides transition programs for international students wanting to attend SFU.

The renewal follows a comprehensive review of operations and student performance by the university.

"FIC has met or exceeded both its own targets and the university’s expectations for enrolment numbers and academic performance," says vp-academic Jon Driver.

"It’s been a very successful relationship and one we are happy to continue," adds President Andrew Petter, who signed the new contract with the college Oct. 1.

When it opened in September 2006 with just 85 students, FIC aimed to increase SFU’s international enrolment by preparing students to transfer to programs in a research-intensive Canadian university. At the time, SFU’s international undergraduate enrolment was about seven per cent of domestic enrolment.

Four years later, the university’s international undergraduate enrolment has almost doubled to 13.9 per cent of domestic enrolment. Some 800 new international students registered this semester, a 29-per-cent increase over 2009, and 150 of them were transfers from FIC.

The college now has 1,260 students from more than 40 different countries enrolled in its Stage I and Stage II university-transfer programs, the latter featuring courses that are transferable to an SFU degree.

FIC has students from countries that have rarely if ever been represented at SFU before, such as Kazakhstan, and considerably greater numbers of South Americans, Russians, Mexicans and Africans.

Meanwhile, nearly 900 FIC graduates have transferred to SFU, with continuing strong numbers expected to transfer in future semesters, and the college’s first SFU graduate received a BA with first-class honours last June. The student is now enrolled in a master’s degree program at SFU.

"It’s not just the numbers of FIC students at SFU," says Driver, "it’s how they’re doing academically once they’re here. And the vast majority of them appear to be doing very well."

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