Driving diversity in London

Graphic showing the title: Driving diversity in London CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

It’s no secret that Canada is known for its diversity, but have you ever thought about how diverse London is specifically? With London being the home of two academic institutions, it’s not uncommon to meet people who are not from Canada. Whilst higher education might be the source of the majority of diversity in London, it’s not the only factor that should be considered, according to the Director of International Recruitment and Market Development at Fanshawe, Saurabh Malhorta.

“I believe that Western and Fanshawe play a critical role,” said Malhorta. “Getting students here, introducing them to the academic world but also to the professional world.”

As the pandemic has slowly become less prominent to daily life, an influx of cultures can be found in London, especially in popular college student areas such as Richmond St.

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“The countries that Fanshawe and Western welcome students from is tremendous!” said Malhorta.

As most international students studied from their home countries during the pandemic, it can be expected to see an increase of students flooding the streets of London as Fanshawe and Western re-introduce in-person learning.

“I think the institutions kept on welcoming international students based on the flexibility that immigration in Canada provided in terms of online learning,” said Malhorta. “Even through the pandemic we had good numbers.”

Whilst the international students themselves are the main reason for the vast diversity in London, there are also other factors surrounding them that contribute to it.

“It’s also the family members of these international students, the parents and grandparents that these international students have brought,” said Malhorta “For example, the international communities from GTA who come to London based on London’s opportunities, flexibility and affordability in London as well.”

Real Estate Salesperson Rob Richards explained that due to increased interest rates, he has noticed an increase in rentals in London from both internationals and locals. Whilst he understands that Fanshawe and Western play a big role in the diversity of this city’s population of 515,000, he also recognized that families have been seeking a way to relocate to London.

“Last couple of years we have been getting people from Toronto, Kitchener, and other cities because they can sell their million-dollar homes in those areas,” said Richards. Relocating due to making a profit off of the disposition of a property can be a very big incentive to homeowners.

Both Malhorta and Richards acknowledged that there are several factors contributing to the diversity of London. Welcoming new cultures into London can benefit the city in a variety of ways and with the majority of teenagers seeking college or university education after high school, London’s diversity will only keep expanding in the future.