SMU: Canada's International University
The Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC), Dhaka organised a reception programme for Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President and Vice Chancellor of Saint Mary's University (SMU), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and Marie Braswell, Director, Admissions & Recruitment, SMU on March 1, 2016 at Westin Dhaka. The Canadian High Commission participated in the reception. The programme was attended by various esteemed educators of the country, alongside potential students, parents and alumni of SMU.
Marie Braswell informed the audience that 35 percent of the 7000+ students at SMU were international students, with quite a few Bangladeshi students in the mix. She also mentioned that the most recently elected President of the SMU Students' Association is a Bangladeshi.
Speaking of the various programmes at SMU, Braswell said that SMU's Sobey School of Business is renowned in the region. She also said that the engineering and science programmes of SMU are well-reputed. As for the funding, Braswell assured that SMU provides around CAD $6 million in student scholarships every year.
Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President and Vice Chancellor, SMU expressed his delight on being able to visit Dhaka. Expressing gratitude to the audience, he informed that SMU is the leading mid-sized university of Canada and that it is often referred to as "Canada's international university", crediting to its student base representing 116 countries. He went on to talk about the new four-step strategic plan that he is trying to implement. Dr. Summerby-Murray said that learning wasn't restricted to the students only – even the teachers are encouraged to learn through research.
It was announced that a Bangladeshi student at SMU, Nancy Gomes, is the first ever recipient of "Anne J. and Albert T. Isaacs Bursary", which is a scholarship of CAD $24,000 awarded to bright and promising undergraduate students. In Nancy's absence, a memorabilia was handed over to her proud parents by Dr. Summerby-Murray.
Afterwards, in an exclusive interview with SHOUT, Dr. Summerby-Murray informed that there are lots of opportunities for eager international students at Saint Mary's University.
"Undergrad students from affiliated universities in Bangladesh can transfer almost half of their credits to SMU, provided they have good grades in the courses." SMU has a memorandum of understanding with some universities in Bangladesh, and are working on more affiliations.
The President and Vice Chancellor of SMU further informed us that there are work opportunities for SMU students to support themselves – both on and off campus. After graduating, students can stay in the province of Nova Scotia for two years on a student visa. He said that there are lots of organisations in which graduates can seek employment during those years.
Lastly, Dr. Summerby-Murray informed about graduate programmes at SMU. There are graduate and doctorate degrees in various fields of art, business and science with sufficient research opportunities.
"With tech entrepreneurship on the rise, international students are changing the nature of innovation," he said.
The relationship between Bangladesh and Canada are better than ever before. We hope that the reception of Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray and Marie Braswell organised by CUAC opens more doors and creates more opportunities for Bangladeshi students seeking admission in Canadian universities.
Arman R. Khan is an engineer, a caffeine addict, a dreamer and a culture enthusiast who takes life one day at a time. Correspond with him at [email protected] or tweet @ArmanRK