Carleton University may become the latest school to contract out its foreign student recruitment to Australian company Navitas. The university has struck a committee of department heads, administrators and students to consider Navitas’ proposal to run a private college for international students at Carleton. The company already operates two similar colleges at the University of Manitoba and Simon Fraser University.
For background, please see: The sneaky way universities are privatizing teaching.
Navitas, which would be responsible for recruitment, would offer first-year courses for international students who may not meet requirements to be admitted directly to the university or who need extra support, including with developing their language skills. Courses would be designed in consultation with Carleton, and, although Navitas hires its own instructors, they must meet the institution’s academic qualifications. Students who successfully complete the first-year program would then be admitted directly to the university.
Students are charged the same tuition as other international students, and Navitas pays a royalty to its host schools.
At Carleton, the proposal is being met with skepticism from professors and other staff who fear that their jobs may be contracted out. Similar concerns have been raised at the University of Manitoba, where the faculty association has questioned to the quality of education, academic freedom, and the fact that Navitas uses publicly paid for classrooms. The University of Windsor rejected a similar proposal with Navitas competitor Study Group International earlier this year.