Conestoga news

June 14, 2024 1:23 PM

Conestoga finalist for international awards recognizing excellence in global education

Conestoga is a finalist for two awards recognizing innovation and achievement in global education from a United Kingdom-based organization focused on international education.

PIEoneer Awards.png
Conestoga is a finalist for two awards recognizing innovation and achievement in global education.

The college is nominated in two categories: Business School of the Year and Employability International Impact Award for 2024. This was the first time Conestoga submitted nominations to the international competition, and two out of three were chosen to proceed to the final round.

The PIEoneer Awards are hosted by The PIE, a leading voice in the international education sector, connecting the professionals, institutions and businesses that support people who choose to study with an international provider each year. It was launched in 2011 by three women who wanted to create a media and jobs platform for all professionals in international education, which is where the name comes from.

Business School of the Year category

The award recognizes the importance of business studies for many globally mobile students and showcases the institutions that are going above and beyond to meet their needs. This category highlights the exceptional and innovative work business schools are doing to serve international students. 

Conestoga’s nomination emphasized that the School of Business’ commitment to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) has been a key driver of innovation since becoming a signatory in 2020. In 2023, the school increased its level of involvement in PRME by becoming a champion school and integrating sustainability concepts into more than 70 per cent of programming across the school.

Significant investments were also made that year in accessible educational practices, exemplified in a commitment to open educational resources (OERs) to ensure students have access to high-quality educational resources for free; teaching case research and pedagogy to engage students in learning focused on real-world examples from around the world; and active participation in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL).

In 2023, six business faculty members participated in COIL projects connecting students across international partner institutions, facilitating internationalization and empowering students to develop cross-cultural competencies and a global mindset. More than 300 Conestoga students collaborated virtually with students from around the world.

“Being a finalist for the prestigious Business School of the Year award is a testament to the exceptional dedication and innovative spirit of our faculty, staff, and students at Conestoga's School of Business. It's an incredible honour to be recognized on a global stage,” said Michelle Grimes, executive dean of the School of Business.

“This acknowledgment highlights the hard work and vision behind our initiatives, from integrating sustainability into our curriculum through the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) to fostering global collaborations through COIL projects. We are deeply committed to the success of both our domestic and international students, striving to offer them the best educational opportunities possible. We're immensely proud of this achievement and excited about the future opportunities it brings.”

Employability International Impact category

Students pursue an international study experience for many reasons, but one overriding factor is to improve their long-term employment prospects. The Employability International Impact Award recognizes organizations that are proactively changing what and how they teach their students or offering new services to ensure students have a genuinely improved chance of finding and securing meaningful employment after graduation.

Conestoga’s nomination centred on the Talent Hub, inspired by increasing labour shortages and growth in the international student community. The Talent Hub offers career services and supports for current students, alumni and community jobseekers. International students have experienced success with support from the hub, including personalized career guidance, work-integrated learning and co-op programs. Workshops on topics such as cross-cultural communication, workplace etiquette and leadership skills help international students adapt to the Canadian workplace, along with language support services to enhance their language proficiency and confidence.

The latest report about Conestoga’s impact on the local economy found the employment rate of the college’s international graduates is virtually the same as domestic graduates: 84.8 per cent and 85.9 per cent, respectively.

Finalists in the award’s 20 categories will be celebrated in person and virtually at a gala in September in London.

Conestoga’s School of Business is one of Ontario’s best, providing numerous options, opportunities and pathways for students to complete, specialize or expand their business education, either full-time or part-time. The college’s career-ready graduates have the skills and knowledge to address real-world needs and make a difference in today’s rapidly changing business world.

The Talent Hub is a one-stop virtual and in-person service and support hub for career and employment advising, co-op and work-integrated learning. The Talent Hub assists students, alumni, and community job seekers at all stages of their career and employment journey, and offers various services to industry and community employers, including mentorship and job fairs.