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In order to attract exceptional students, universities need to build pathways to postgrad education

In today’s competitive world, many prospect students are already thinking beyond their undergraduate degree and carefully considering what postgraduate study opportunities their potential university could offer them.

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"In effect, students can earn a graduate diploma and a master’s degree in under three years"

In fact, according to the QS International Student Survey 2020, nearly 40% of surveyed students plan to continue with some form of study after graduation.

That’s why it’s no longer enough for universities to focus solely on their undergraduate offerings. In order to attract exceptional students at every level, universities should have attractive pathways to graduate programs in their arsenal, too.

“Pathways to graduate level studies are crucial tools that help students imagine their future beyond the four years of their undergrad degree,” says Zainab Al-koubaisi, director of Global Engagement at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. KPU is one of the most popular universities in the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada, enrolling nearly 20,000 students each year.

Al-koubaisi believes KPU’s current and future success in student satisfaction is in part thanks to KPU’s investment in robust articulation programs. Through these programs, KPU students move seamlessly from undergraduate studies at KPU to earning their master’s degrees, medical degrees, and more, at partner institutions. Here’s a closer look at a few of these exciting partnerships.

KPU and SGU: Developing future medical experts with international experience and breadth

KPU and St. George’s University in Grenada have formalised an innovative articulation agreement that offers KPU students the opportunity to pursue an Doctor of Medicine or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at SGU after graduating from a four-year Health Sciences undergraduate degree at KPU.


Medical students can complete their first two years of medical study in Grenada, or partly in Grenada and partly in Northumbria University in the UK. The final two years of this combined program are spent in clinical rotations at SGU’s affiliated hospitals in the US and/or the UK.

Veterinary students complete the first three years of veterinary study in Grenada and their final clinical year at affiliated veterinary schools in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Ireland.

The best part of this pathway program? KPU students can express their interest in studying at SGU as soon as their first year at KPU. They’ll be supported by the SGU admissions team every step of the way to help them achieve their goals of pursuing a medical degree within the competitive environment of Canada’s medical schools.

KPU and SUMAS: Launching leaders in sustainability and responsible management

Thanks to a dual credential opportunity with KPU and the Sustainability Management School, students in KPU’s Business Administration Graduate Diploma programs can easily ladder their graduate diploma into a master’s degree at SUMAS in Switzerland.

“We never stop exploring new international partnership opportunities”

In effect, students can earn a graduate diploma and a master’s degree in under three years. Students also continue to pay the same competitive KPU tuition rates even while studying at SUMAS.

There are currently 10 double-credential Master of Management and MBA programs offered.

KPU Graduate Diploma in Business Administration: Green Business Management & Sustainability

  • MBA in Sustainability Management
  • MAM in Sustainability Management
  • MAM in Sustainable Tourism
  • MAM in Sustainable Fashion
  • MAM in Sustainable Hospitality

KPU Graduate Diploma in Business Administration: Global Business Management

  • MBA in Finance and Responsible Investment
  • MAM in Sustainability Management
  • MAM in Sustainable Tourism
  • MAM in Sustainable Fashion
  • MAM in Sustainable Hospitality

With a university education being one of the most significant investments a student can make, many are weighing their options more carefully than ever. KPU makes the cut by offering meaningful global learning opportunities to its students through pathway programs like these.

“But this is just the start,” Al-koubaisi confirms. “We never stop exploring new international partnership opportunities to enrich what we can offer to our students, staff, and faculty.”

About the author:

Mary Chen is the International Communications Coordinator for Kwantlen Polytechnic University, one of the largest public universities in the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada. KPU enrolls nearly 20,000 full time students each year—nearly 30% of whom are international—in 140+ unique programs.

In Mary’s role as International Communications Coordinator, she supports KPU in building a community for the thousands of international students, partner institutions, faculty, and staff that the University serves. In particular, her exceptional communication skills and keen instinct for story help drive international student recruitment and admissions efforts at KPU.

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