Capilano University invites students to study international business in Canada and the U.K.

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      Imagine spending the first semester of the year studying international business at Capilano University and then spending the second semester doing the same thing in the United Kingdom.

      Then imagine that this one year of education yields two academic credentials.

      In fact, this is exactly what occurs with the international-management graduate diploma and master’s of science in international business offered by Capilano University and the University of Hertfordshire.

      According to Capilano University’s vice chair of the graduate-management program, Tammy Towill, up to 22 students are accepted into this unique studying opportunity each year. The prerequisites include an undergraduate degree in business with a 3.0 grade-point average.

      These requirements can be waived for a person with “significant work experience”.

      “The program is really geared for people who are passionate about their understanding and learning of international business,” Towill told the Straight by phone. “That's one of the unique things about the program. You have the ability to study both in Canada and abroad.”

      Towill said her university intends to eventually request approval from the B.C. government to convert this into a dual master’s degree from both academic institutions.

      But for now, the master’s comes from the U.K. university and the graduate diploma comes from Capilano University.

      Towill said the program covers finance, human resources, strategy, and the other elements associated with graduate business-education programs.

      “But the lens that we look at it from is through an international-business perspective,” she stated.

      Capilano University's Tammy Towill says that having a graduate degree opens more doors in the business community.

      Cap U looks outward

      Long before Capilano College was converted into Capilano University in 2008, it was carving out a niche with its international focus.

      Towill said that once the province granted university status, administrators had to decide where its “distinctive excellence” would set it apart from much larger institutions such as UBC and SFU.

      In addition to emphasizing the school’s connection to the world, the school focused on becoming a leading teaching university.

      One way to achieve this has been through small class sizes.

      Another way is ensuring that faculty are not only experts in their fields of study but are also knowledgeable about instructional techniques.

      “Being a master of your content does not make you a good teacher,” Towill said. "One of the things we're working with the university is to create a similar program at the doctoral level that we could launch for faculty."

      She credited a former Capilano University vice president, Catherine Vertesi, for promoting global-business education.

      That’s because Vertesi appreciated that business is often international in nature, particularly for people working in Vancouver.

      “She really pushed to develop not only study abroad but even field school,” Towill said. “Not everybody can go away for a whole semester, but maybe you can go away for 10 days or three weeks. She was really the brainchild behind this program.”

      According to Towill, there's greater demand for credentials nowadays, particularly in Vancouver.

      "You may have great ideas and you might have done really well in your undergrad, but at this stage in business, having graduate work opens more doors," she said.

      Capilano University is nestled on the eastern side of Vancouver's North Shore.