Ontario Institution Sees Good Things In The Future
While efforts by Ontario's Sault
College to partner with a Chinese aviation school remain in a
holding pattern after a six-member delegation from Guangzhou Civil
Aviation College toured Sault College's aviation hangar Thursday,
the visit was positive.
They liked what they saw, said college Acting President Max
Liedke. However, Guangzhou also wants its aviation partner to tour
the Sault Ste. Marie facilities before a possible three-way
partnership is created, reported the (Canadian) Sault Star.
Guangzhou would not release its partner's name and it's not
known when the airline will come to Sault.
"They said they were very impressed with the facilities we had,"
said Liedke. "They look forward to, and welcome, the opportunity
Guangzhou offers several air-related programs, including
aircraft maintenance and air aviation logistics, but does not offer
a program similar to Sault College's three-year aviation
"There are huge demands for pilots," said Li Shaolin, director
of foreign affairs. "We want to contribute a little bit to this
Any articulation agreement
Sault College would seek would include flight training in
Guangzhou has 5,800 students. Sault College has 2,300
post-secondary students, with a total student population, including
all program categories and part-time evening students, of
Two dozen Chinese colleges, universities, middle schools, and
preparatory schools presented Liedke and vice-president, academic
Judi Maundrell with 40 proposals during a city trade mission to
China last month. The College has responded to two or three of
Meanwhile, while lack of interest kept the college's
long-running aircraft structural repair program from last year's
catalog, overwhelming industry interest is bringing it back to
Sault College this fall, according to Maundrell.
While classes will start in the fall, the college is working
this summer with airlines on developing a partnership to run a
southern Ontario-based program, likely to start later in the school
year, Maundrell said.
The industry is clamoring for trained workers, she said.
"They are constantly calling, saying 'We need grads,' (that)
they would like to hire our entire graduating class, and at the
moment we don't have a class at all."
Maundrell said local interest was too low to run the program
this past academic year, even though all graduates in the previous
class were hired before the school year ended.
"In southern Ontario there were students going into similar
programs, but we could just not seem to drum up interest in Sault
Ste. Marie," said Maundrell.
"We know there is huge interest in the southern part of the
Sault College is one of Ontario's 24 publicly-funded colleges of
applied arts and technology, often called community colleges. Sault
College first opened its doors in 1965 as an Ontario Vocational