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Glendon College has been a centre of learning and research excellence for over 50 years. It has trained generations of changemakers, and its alumni community includes leaders in a variety of sectors, from education to diplomacy, social justice and science; from the financial world to the art world. 

In doing so, Glendon became a unique institution in the Canadian higher education sector, inspiring and educating globally engaged, interculturally-aware minds.  In the face of emerging from the global pandemic and several years of declining enrolment, the timing is right to take stock of Glendon’s position in the sector in order to strengthen its competitive advantage and ensure the institution’s growth and sustainability in both the domestic and international post-secondary landscape. 

Glendon faculty members have participated in an examination of programs that have faced declines in enrollment over the past decade. The goal is to ensure that Glendon College offers sustainable degree programs, while strengthening the experience and success of students coming to York to start their future. 

The objectives are to leverage Glendon’s strengths and promote interdisciplinarity in order to present a compelling and career-relevant program offering to future students, while ensuring that degree program offerings are sustainable and continue to be geared toward student needs.

Glendon’s multilingual milieu constitutes a valued asset which helps enrich our students’ skills portfolio, preparing them for an increasingly competitive global job market. French Language programs and services are at the heart of Glendon’s plurilingual strength and are key to its success.  

Bilingualism is today the most often cited reason for which students chose Glendon, yet the institution offers so much more. Over the years, Glendon has broadened its language offering, adding several resources for its students, including:  

  • The Language Training Centre for Studies in French  
  • The ESL Open Learning Centre  
  • The Spanish Resource Centre  
  • The Salon Francophone 
  • Camerise – a hub for FSL teaching and the learning community 

Beyond studies in English, French and Spanish, students are now able to choose from over 20 different languages offered by York University, including Anishinaabemowin.  

One of the desired outcomes of this exercise is to improve enrolment while working with the Glendon community. In that spirit, the repositioning of Glendon will undoubtedly require doing certain things differently and will draw on the existing skills and expertise found in the Glendon community. 

With a relatively small and integrated campus community, Glendon is well positioned to propose a new, more enticing experience to future students. In fact, teaching and support staff have already been engaged in this process to create new program options and specializations, such as the Glendon BA, the Certificate in Creative Writing Across Contexts, and the Cognitive Neuropsychology stream. Additional strategic actions are needed to enhance Glendon’s attractiveness. 

Nous Group was engaged to consult on the repositioning exercise during an earlier phase of the project that ended in March, 2022. Their role has been limited to providing support and market intelligence, as well as an analysis of global competitors in the higher education landscape. They assembled data provided by York University’s Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis, as well as other publicly available data (e.g. Statistics Canada), and led research activities with students. They do not have any decision-making authority and all decision-making will follow the usual internal channels including Senate, as appropriate.

Principal Fiola has considered the data available from all sources, as well as proposals and options stemming from discussions with the Advisory Committee and the Glendon community. He is now taking a set of recommendations to the Glendon community and beyond, in the spirit of collegial governance and meaningful community consultation. Once these consultations are complete and the input has been incorporated, York University’s governing bodies will have the opportunity to review the proposed recommendations.