Creating Global Learning Opportunities For Indigenous Students

New partnership between George Brown College and New Zealand’s Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology to provide immersive international exchange

TORONTO, June 17, 2024 /CNW/ – A new partnership between Toronto’sGeorge Brown College (GBC) and New Zealand’s Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is creating inclusive pathways for global learning and cultural exchange.

This June, five Indigenous students from GBC will travel to NMIT to connect with Māori learners and explore how the Indigenous peoples of New Zealand are leading positive change in their communities. They will participate in cultural practices to deepen their understanding of history, traditions, sacred teachings and the impact that plays in guiding Indigenous people today in New Zealand. The college will host a follow-up visit in September for NMIT participants to engage with Indigenous GBC students and faculty, and gain insight into diverse experiences and knowledge inToronto and across the province. 

“We are proud to partner with NMIT to provide this immersive world views exchange for Indigenous learners. It is an opportunity for students and faculty to share local and global experiences and consider this knowledge within the context of their own studies, careers, and communities,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, president, GBC.

The course is the first of its kind at GBC’s Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies as it was co-created with an international institution and adds to general education courses already available in Indigenous studies at GBC. The five GBC learners are social service worker students and are either already working in Indigenous agencies or preparing to enter the field.

“Our NMIT learners and staff are excited to share their knowledge, language and cultural practices with the GBC students, and to learn about Indigenous culture in Canada. It will be enlightening to learn about the similarities and differences between the cultures and we look forward to seeing how this partnership can continue this important work into the future,” said Olivia Hall, executive director, NMIT. 

GBC and NMIT share a global engagement principle of creating greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in international mobility for Indigenous and equity-deserving students. Recognizing financial barriers to participation, these students received funding through a donorship from Canadians Doug Steiner, a technology innovator and entrepreneur, and Jasmine Herlt, a human rights lawyer, who also facilitated the partnership between the two institutions. Upon completing both parts of the course (in New Zealand and Toronto), the students earn academic credit.

The world views exchange opportunity is the first phase of a broader collaborative partnership agreement between GBC and NMIT. Indigenous learning is the foundational step with a planned expansion to other areas of mutual interest and benefit.

About George Brown College

Toronto’s George Brown College is located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and other Indigenous peoples.

George Brown prepares innovative, adaptable graduates with the skills to thrive in a rapidly changing job market. With three campuses in the downtown core, the college blends theory with experiential learning, applied research, and entrepreneurship opportunities. George Brown offers 175 full-time programs and 182 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to more than 28,500 full-time students and receives more than 53,600 continuing education registrations annually. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, apprenticeships, and degrees.

About Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology 

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is the largest education and training provider in the Top of the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Since 1905, NMIT has supported the development of the region through high-quality applied vocational education and training.   

Across four campuses, NMIT offers over 100 qualifications from certificate through to master’s. With smaller class sizes, students benefit from personalised attention, hands-on learning, and strong industry connections. NMIT’s diverse and inclusive environment and internationally recognised qualifications prepare students to graduate work-ready and sought after by employers locally, nationally, and globally. 

As well as strong international collaboration, NMIT has developed excellent relationships and partnerships with local iwi (indigenous tribes), industry and the not-for-profit sector.  


SOURCE George Brown College

For further information: Please contact: Contact at George Brown College, Saron Fanel, External Communications Specialist,; Contact at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Jody Bennett, Senior Communications Advisor,