To win the battle for talent, Montréal launches its portal for international students
Montréal, September 5, 2007 What do all mobile students around the globe have in common? They use the Internet to explore the world and their corner of it. To attract and retain the best international students, the Montréal area therefore launched the Study in Montréal :-) Web portal today.
According to Denis Thérien, the project spokesperson and vice-principal, research and international relations, of McGill University, Montréal can't wait another minute before joining the race for talent being run by the world's major cities. We currently hold an enviable position: 18,400 international students chose Montréal in 2006, an 8% increase over the previous year. To maintain this position, and even improve it, we must constantly innovate, and our new portal is an excellent example of the concrete actions we have decided to take to keep Montréal in the running.
The Study in Montréal :-) portal can be found at www.etudieramontreal.info (French) or www.studyinmontreal.info (English). In keeping with the innovative nature of this information tool, the project's partners decided to hold a virtual launch, and the launch video may be viewed from the home page.
The portal has sections devoted to five major aspects of student life: Living, Studying, Working, Participating, and Travelling. It also has a virtual bulletin board where students find listings for such useful everyday items as rooms for rent, books, and school supplies to sell or trade.
The challenge: attract and retain international students
Among other things, the Montréal area has chosen to ensure its prosperity by focusing on high-knowledge industries. To maintain steady development in these sectors, we must increase our pool of highly skilled labour, particularly by attracting and retaining international students, explained Claude Dauphin, chair of the Montréal Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ).
According to Richard Deschamps, chair of Montréal, City of learning, knowledge, and innovation, a committee of the Montréal CRÉ, Montréal has everything to gain by attracting international students. Their contribution to research and innovation is crucial; in fact they account for one third of the Ph.D. students in Montréal. Moreover, these students inject between $250 and $400 million into Montréal's economy each year. And international students who return to their communities act as ambassadors for Montréal, while those who decide to stay here help swell the ranks of highly skilled workers.
In 2005, the Board of Trade's Montréal Health Report on attracting, training, and retaining talent concluded that one out of every three students from outside Quebec chooses to remain in Montréal after graduation. It is thus extremely logical for us to use the drawing power of Montréal universities and colleges to attract more candidates for long-term immigration and strive, throughout their stay here, to facilitate their integration. This new site devoted to international students is thus an excellent means of contributing effectively to the vital goal of retaining talent, declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
Study in Montréal :-) is a tool adapted to today's students, concluded Jean Sébastien Dufresne, chair of the Forum jeunesse de l'île de Montréal. The site offers a carefully selected range of links. Rather than duplicating information, it creates an interface between young people and the resources designed to meet their needs. In addition, the experience is facilitated by user-friendly navigation making it easy to find the information they seek.
Study in Montréal :-) is an initiative of the Montréal Conférence régionale des élus carried out by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The project was made possible by the financial support of the Forum jeunesse de l'île de Montréal, the principal financial partner, and the Ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions. Many Montréal partners are associated with the project. It is in line with the opinion titled Intensify efforts to attract and retain the best international students in Montréal, published in fall 2006. The Montréal Conférence régionale des élus brings together business, political, and community leaders from the Island of Montréal for the purpose of promoting the region's development through collective action and working with the provincial government on matters of regional development.
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Montréal Conférence régionale des élus
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