Arch Tech students can continue studies with the Kiwis

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand has struck a deal with Fanshawe's Architectural Technology, allowing direct entry into its Masters of Building Science program.

Dan Douglas, dean of Applied Research and Innovation, said a relationship was formed in 2011, and as a result, Victoria University wanted more.

“When they evaluated our program against their three-year credential, they said we were actually equivalent,” he said. “They [would be] going directly into first year of the Master's program.”

Victoria University originally approached Fanshawe about partnering on the Solar Decathlon Project back in 2011.

Students from Architectural Technology at Fanshawe helped out by reviewing specifications and drawings. Some students even traveled to New Zealand to build the structure for the project.

“As a part of this ... I was invited down to New Zealand,” Douglas said. “We started talking about articulations and the possibility of our students continuing their education at Victoria University.”

Douglas said the university was impressed with Fanshawe as well as the students who did work on the project.

In fact, thanks to Fanshawe's involvement, Victoria University placed third in the competition. “One of the things [the university] attributed that to was the Fanshawe contribution,” said Douglas. “As a result ... they realized the quality of students we had, so we started discussing the articulation [agreement].”

And Douglas couldn't have been more elated. “It made us feel wonderful because it validates the quality of education that we're providing here at Fanshawe College. And it also validates on a larger scale, the equivalency of our advanced diplomas to three-year degrees.”

Direct entry into a Master's program is unique in its own right, but Douglas said there are two more international post-secondary opportunities available.

“We also have a pathway to Construction Project Management, that one is into an Honours Bachelor of Science at the Institute of Technology Sligo, in Ireland,” he said. “The other is an Honour Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology and that is at Cork Institute of Technology, also in Ireland.”

Douglas pursued the opportunities himself when Architectural Technology was not part of an agreement Colleges Ontario made with institutes of Technology in Ireland.

Fanshawe already has two students enrolled in Cork with three more scheduled to enroll in 2014, and four students enrolled at Sligo this year, according to Douglas.

It's still too early to know how many will enroll in Victoria, but Douglas hopes to have somebody there for 2014.

There are no set plans for more opportunities to roll out, but Douglas says he's continuing a search. “We will continue to look at opportunities, articulations both domestic and international. The broader the opportunities for students to pursue additional credentials, the better for the student.”

“I'm excited for the students to have these kinds of opportunities. I think it's great for them not only to be able to continue their education, but also have an international experience and end up with a credential they can use anywhere.”