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Polytechnique’s international appeal is growing


May 17, 2019 - Source : Magazine Poly  | VersionPDFdisponible (Printemps 2019)

One of Polytechnique Montréal’s strategic priorities is its position internationally - ergo the reason for a new offering in Fall 2020: International Thematic Clusters in Engineering (ITC). These internationally-focused courses of study will include a range of courses taught in English, grouped by specialty. Line Dubé, Director of Polytechnique Montréal International (POINT), the new name of the Bureau des relations internationales (International Relations Office), explains the Cluster’s objectives and features.


Development of international partnerships with prestigious institutions

“Polytechnique wants to expand outgoing mobility opportunities for students interested in international experience as part of their academic career,” Dubé explains. “We also want to develop and maintain partnerships with prestigious institutions whose language of instruction may not be French. As such, we need to ensure that there is appropriate structure and programming for reciprocal exchanges, to enable non-French-speaking students at these universities to take courses here at Polytechnique.”

With the above in mind, offering a sufficient range of courses taught in English becomes essential. “Polytechnique will definitely remain a French-language institution; this is not about making the university bilingual,” Dubé affirms. “International exchange students will be strongly encouraged to take a French language learning course.”

International Thematic Clusters in Engineering

The purpose of ITCs is to enrich engineering education with expertise that builds on the fields in which Canada - and in particular Polytechnique Montréal - stand out. Nine clusters in the following areas will be available as of autumn 2020: Emerging Biomedical Technologies, Sustainable Development, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Engineering Physics, Resource Infrastructure, Materials Science and Engineering, Energy Systems, and Sustainable Transport. In 2021, three additional clusters will be added: Aerospace, Data Science, and Operational Research.

International Thematic Clusters are primarily oriented to senior-level students in the final years of their engineering programs, and essentially group together optional courses currently included in Bachelor’s degree programs.

“By way of ITCs, Polytechnique is opening up to the world, and is diversifying the student population that comes from top partner institutions. These new courses will notably optimize our own student’s international mobility opportunities,” Dubé states. “The ITCs will be available as an option to our students who want to enhance the international aspect of their training; the latter, as well as courses taught in English, are things that our student community has been requesting.”

The ITC program was officially launched on May 29, 2019, at the NAFSA International Education Conference in Washington D.C. Polytechnique Montréal’s François Bertrand, Vice-President - Academic and Research, together with the POINT team and other Polytechnique representatives, introduced the new initiative, which was very well received by delegates from the largest international universities in attendance.

“Polytechnique is highlighting its internationality better than ever with the ITC program,” Dubé concludes. “It strengthens our presence in major international university networks, which is a strategic move at a time when a university’s ability to attract the best students is strongly influenced by the exchange partnerships it establishes with prestigious institutions in other countries. Polytechnique is clearly leveraging its position in terms of global engineering education - just as was set out in our strategic plan.”

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