Western joins castle
By Sara Marett
Western students interested in furthering their studies abroad may have the opportunity due to a new partnership between Canadian universities and at Queen's University's International Study Centre in Herstmonceux, England.
Administrators of Queen's ISC approached other universities for support to help with financial problems the castle is experiencing. The castle was donated to Queen's in 1993 by a wealthy alumnus. Since then the castle has been experiencing financial difficulties.
Until now, letters of permission were required for a Western student to study at Herstmonceux, but as a result of the proposed partnership they will be able to study abroad without this extra step. Herstmonceux offers first-year programs in humanities and social science as well as third and fourth-year programs in humanities, social science, business and law.
"We try to make the connections into the programs from the home university as seamless as possible," said Bill McLatchie, co-ordinator of the ISC and physics professor at Queen's.
McLatchie said the support of other universities will not only aid the financial situation surrounding the castle, but will also result in a more diverse representation of Canadian students studying at the ISC.
"Presently Western, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto have secured their support for the ISC by committing to sending 20 students a year and approximately $200,000 in funds," McLatchie said. "We approached Western to be a part of this group because its traditions and high academic standards are consistent with Queen's."
VP-academic Greg Moran said the partnership, which will be presented to Senate next month, will provide an outstanding opportunity for Western students to study at Herstmonceux. "A program such as this provides the same advantages as an exchange program, but perhaps with less risks," he said, referring to the ISC's North American teaching evaluation style.
"The comments I've received from students who have attended [the school] have been outstanding," he added. Moran said the partnership benefits everyone involved. "The increased enrolment as a result of the partnership with the other universities should allow the school to make full use of its facilities."
Another positive aspect of Western's involvement with the school involves the opportunity for Western faculty to join the Herstmonceux team. "I think it would be great for Western students to have faculty there to advise them," said McLatchie. He explained the current faculty of Herstmonceux is comprised of Queen's faculty and professors from other universities in England.