New partnership between George Brown College and New Zealand’s Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology to provide immersive international exchange

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A new partnership between George Brown College (GBC) and New Zealand’s Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is creating inclusive pathways for global learning and cultural exchange.

Creating global learning opportunities for Indigenous students

This June, three Indigenous students from GBC will travel to NMIT to connect with Māori learners and explore how the Indigenous peoples of New Zealand are leading positive change in their communities. They will participate in cultural practices to deepen their understanding of history, traditions, sacred teachings and the impact that plays in guiding Indigenous people today in New Zealand. The college will host a follow-up visit in September for NMIT participants to engage with Indigenous GBC students and faculty, and gain insight into diverse experiences and knowledge in Toronto and across the province.

“We are proud to partner with NMIT to provide this immersive world views exchange for Indigenous learners. It is an opportunity for students and faculty to share local and global experiences and consider this knowledge within the context of their own studies, careers, and communities,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President, GBC.

The course is the first of its kind at GBC’s Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies as it was co-created with an international institution and adds to general education courses already available in Indigenous studies at GBC. The five GBC learners are social service worker students and are either already working in Indigenous agencies or preparing to enter the field.

“Our NMIT learners and staff are excited to share their knowledge, language and cultural practices with the GBC students, and to learn about Indigenous culture in Canada. It will be enlightening to learn about the similarities and differences between the cultures and we look forward to seeing how this partnership can continue this important work into the future,” said Olivia Hall, Executive Director, NMIT.

GBC and NMIT share a global engagement principle of creating greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in international mobility for Indigenous and equity-deserving students. Recognizing financial barriers to participation, these students received funding through a donorship from Canadians Doug Steiner, a technology innovator and entrepreneur, and Jasmine Herlt, a human rights lawyer, who also facilitated the partnership between the two institutions. Upon completing both parts of the course (in New Zealand and Toronto), the students earn academic credit.

The world views exchange opportunity is the first phase of a broader collaborative partnership agreement between GBC and NMIT. Indigenous learning is the foundational step with a planned expansion to other areas of mutual interest and benefit.

Three people in a boat


People on a beach in life jackets standing in a circle
GBC student holding a slice of kiwi
students on the beach holding paddles