14:48 PM

Mohawk College Takes Action to Welcome International Students and Newcomers to Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Mohawk College today released an action plan in response to recommendations put forward by the Welcoming Communities Task Force.

The 19-member task force was convened by Mohawk President Ron McKerlie in early 2015 to help identify how the college could better serve international students and support newcomers to Hamilton. Following a year of conversations and consultations, the task force has made 34 recommendations aimed at:

  • helping newcomers make a successful transition to Hamilton
  • creating stronger connecting in Hamilton for newcomers
  • building intercultural competency within Hamilton businesses and organizations
  • moving Hamilton from friendly to welcoming by promoting the value of global citizenship

In response to the Welcoming Communities Task Force recommendations, Mohawk has developed a multi-year action plan. The plan includes opening a Language and Culture Centre at the Fennell campus for international students and newcomers to Hamilton, launching a smartphone app for international students, promoting volunteer opportunities in the community for international students, launching an entrepreneurship program for international students, strengthening ties with community groups and introducing a global exchange program for students to live and learn in other countries.

The Welcoming Communities Task Force report and recommendations, along with Mohawk’s action plan, are posted at: www.mohawkcollege.ca/welcomingcommunities.


“We launched our Welcoming Communities Task Force to engage in a meaningful year-long conversation with our business, industry, education and community partners. Together we identified how to make our college and our community even more welcoming to newcomers who will account for all the future growth of Hamilton’s population and workforce. The outstanding work of the task force has redoubled Mohawk’s commitment to welcoming the world to our college and community. Our hope is that the Welcoming Communities Task Force recommendations will inspire other employers and institutions to launch their own initiatives and add their support to advancing global citizenship. ”
Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie


  • The members of the Welcoming Communities Task Force were Layla Abdulrahim-Moore (City of Hamilton / Global Hamilton Connect), Luke Baylis (Mohawk Students’ Association), Max Brown (Mohawk Students’ Association), Clement Chan (Columbia International College), Jim Commerford (Hamilton Burlington Brantford YMCA), Terry Cooke (Hamilton Community Foundation), Huyen Dam (Global Hamilton Connect), Laurie Davidson (RBC), Glen DeCaire (Haimlton Police Services), Howard Elliott (Hamilton Spectator), Christine Hoey (Fell Fab), Vahn Kalong (My Thai Restaurants), Keith Monrose (Mohawk College), Eric Taylor (Fell Fab), Judy Travis (Workforce Planning Hamilton and chair of the Hamilton Immigrant Partnership Council), Jim Vanderveken (Mohawk College), Dr. Gary Warner (McMaster University), Sarah Wayland (City of Hamilton / Global Hamilton Connect), Sandra Wilson (Hamilton Police Service).
  • The Welcoming Communities Task Force met four times, organized an October conference at Mohawk, held consultations with the Hamilton Immigrant Partnership Council and presented to Hamilton City Council.
  • Leadership in internationalization and global experiences is one of the commitments made in Mohawk’s new five-year strategic plan.
  • Mohawk currently educates and serves 2,000 international students from more than 70 countries.
  • Mohawk officially opened its Language and Culture Centre at the Fennell campus on April 14. The centre offers services and supports to both international students and newcomers to Hamilton.
  • According to Statistics Canada, 24 per cent of Hamilton residents were born outside of Canada.


For more information, contact:

Jay Robb, Director of Communications, 905.979.8893, jay.robb@mohawkcollege.ca

About Mohawk

Mohawk College educates and serves more than 29,500 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three main campuses in Hamilton, Ontario and learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk, and at the College’s Centre for Aviation Technology at the Hamilton International Airport. Mohawk is among the top five colleges for applied research in Canada. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers seven years in a row, holds a GOLD STARS rating from AASHE for sustainability achievements and is home to the country’s largest and first institutional building to receive dual certification for Zero Carbon Building Framework design and performance for The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. More than 135,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.