It is very important for both students and their parents to be well-informed before making a decision about which courses the student is going to pursue at university level.
Parents are often the decision-makers when it comes to choosing a course or a university for their children. Even if they do not make the final call, they remain an integral part of the decision making process. It is, therefore, necessary for both the students and their parents to be updated about the ever-changing dimensions of higher education.
“I want to focus on the students but because of certain reasons I cannot focus on the students alone. I have to focus on the parents. Especially in countries like India and even in this part of the world [Middle East], parents are often the decision-makers. They are very much involved in the process. They often look at what kind of professions they have in their family. If a dad is a doctor, the son is going to be a doctor too. You see these patterns quite often,” said Jimmi Hemmenbach, a representative of the University of Guelph, Canada, was recently in Qatar to inform and educate students about the courses and facilities the university offers.
“I often see very good grades of a student at the school board examinations but there is a significant drop in their grades as they pursue higher studies. The drop is because they have to pick subjects that they do not have much interest in. I think it is really important to educate the parents. At the end of the day, I see myself as an educator representing the university because I educate both the students and their parents,” said Jimmi while talking to Community.
The university representative further said: “During one of my information sessions I noticed, it was mainly the parents at the session. I was happy about that. From the questions that I got, I guessed that they were learning. It was like a new world for them.
“The kids are often more informed than their parents. I think that it is really important to have all these sessions where parents can ask first hand questions.”
Jimmi, a Swedish national who has lived in different parts of the world, has been working with the university as the regional operations manager for the Middle East and South Asia. “I am technically working with the student recruitment, helping students to come to Canada for studies. I interact directly with parents, students and the university alumni. I am here [Qatar] with a group of Canadian universities doing the international school visits. I had information sessions here to give people more information about the University of Guelph making them fully understand what programmes we offer and what opportunities they have if they decide to come to Canada.”
Jimmi is all praise for the education facilities in Qatar and sees a good scope for students at the University of Guelph. “There are really good schools here where the students are highly qualified to go to the university and to any other international place for that matter. We value the education system they have here. There IB schools, Indian schools, British and American schools. It is quite an international scene despite being such a small place.”
For Jimmi being in Qatar was about finding a right fit for the university. “Students are different. They have different needs. I think the Canadian universities come with very different offerings at the end of the day. Quite similar academically, there are certain niches. Overall, it is up to the students about what type of university they are looking for. There are so many variables.”
He believes the students’ satisfaction is very high at the University of Guelph. “We have a very good support system and an extremely safe city in Guelph. It is also known the friendly city as well. It is the environment that is very conducive to learning.
“With strong academic background, the students with diverse cultural background in Qatar normally do not struggle too much with the transition into the new environment. We also see lots of Canadians living here as expats. We offer them [the students] a home away from home.”
Jimmi also talked about the courses that the university offers. “If highlighting the courses that we are known for arem, they would be veterinary studies, food science, and strong science programmes.
We are a very research heavy university. We also have programmes in business and management.”
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