This week, the Western campus plays host to more than 1,500 members of the International Association of College Admission Counseling for their annual education conference.
Rarely held in Canada, the conference is a professional development event for international education professionals dedicated to serving students as they plan for postsecondary education. Now in its 26th year, the conference brings together school counsellors, university admissions officers and representatives from related organizations to discuss global education, with a focus on improving support for students as they select their academic programs and global destinations.
The event is a chance to showcase the university and all it offers, explained Jim Weese, Acting Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (International).
“This give us the cherished opportunity to showcase our beautiful campus, the plethora of academic and co-curricular opportunities afforded potential students, our fabulous city, and the brilliant competence, expertise, and warm hospitality of our faculty, staff and students,” Weese said. “For many, this is their first trip to Western, if not Canada.”
The conference falls on the heels of a busy June when the campus hosted international visitors for a number of marquee events, including the International World’s Challenge Challenge, Times Higher Education Teaching Excellence Summit, Joint Congress of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and CFD Society of Canada, International Symposium on the Philosophy of Music Education; and Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.
Next year, Western will be the site of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, expected to draw 10,000 delegates to Western and London.
Hosting conferences like these make strategic sense and help the university highlight itself as a world-class destination institution, Weese added.
To pull them off, he continued, it takes a cast of thousands. “I am especially proud of my colleagues in Western International, and across campus, who have worked long and hard to make this event a smashing success.”
This week’s conference attracted representatives from more than 90 countries, including 795 university and college admissions professionals, 639 high school counsellors and individual members and 131 representatives of international education organizations
They will connect through 80 education sessions on topics such as diversity and inclusion, financial aid access, global citizenship and international student recruitment. Along with campus tours, they will also enjoy the city with an Indigenous sunrise ceremony, a golf outing, 5K run/walk, ice skating and a Canadian Backyard BBQ Bash to close out the conference.
The conference kicks off Tuesday night and runs through Friday morning.