FSU ranked first in province for international students

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: ANGELA MCINNES
Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) interim president, Julia Brown, said the FSU will continue to integrate international students into its programming.

The Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) has been ranked the number one student union in Ontario by international students.

The ranking is the result of the 2018 i-graduate International Student Barometer (ISB) survey, where international students were asked to rate their colleges in more than 70 different satisfaction benchmarks related to learning, arrival services, support services and college life. Globally, 199 institutions, including six Ontario colleges, were included.

According to the results, 98.5 per cent of participants were satisfied with the FSU, making it first among Ontario colleges and second in the global benchmark.

“I’m thrilled that we’re number one,” FSU interim president Julia Brown told Interrobang. “But I do think that us leaning into the changing student face has really helped with that. It’s really cool because it’s students who have decided that we are doing a good job and that’s exactly what we’re here for, so it’s good feedback for sure.”

Brown said she credits the FSU’s efforts to adapt to Fanshawe’s increasing international student presence for the positive result. She listed multicultural events such as the FSU’s Diwali celebrations, Autumn Moon and Lunar New Year festivals, and this year’s first ever Desi Night with Fateh Doe as part of the FSU’s aim to include diverse groups in its programming.

“It’s really making sure that yes, you are in Canada, but your culture is still celebrated and respected here. I think that’s a really important thing for people who are far away from home and might be missing those things,” Brown said. “Obviously it won’t be as profound as it would be back home, but when you’re able to celebrate Holi or Diwali here, it does give you that sense of community that you might be missing.”

Brown added that the best way for current international students to get involved is through joining the FSU’s volunteer team, or by running as either a presidential or directorial candidate in the upcoming by-election. They can also consider joining or starting clubs, and learn more about the process on Oct. 1 during the FSU’s Clubs Day, held in F Hallway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is the eighth year that Fanshawe students have participated in the ISB. The College also ranked high in categories related to living, learning supports and support services overall (number one in Ontario, number seven to number 10 in global benchmarks).

“We serve over 6,000 international students from more than 95 countries every year at all our campuses,” Wendy Curtis, executive director of Fanshawe’s International Centre, stated in a MyFanshawe announcement of the results. “These students consistently rank us very highly, especially concerning the quality and comprehensiveness of their learning experience – including Fanshawe’s expert faculty members, quality lectures, program content and learning spaces.”

According to the announcement, Fanshawe also ranked first for satisfaction with overall learning experience at 92.8 per cent in the overall learning category. On average, the College was rated fourth globally and second among Ontario colleges in other learning metrics that assessed faculty, curriculum, library and learning spaces and graduate employability.