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Code of Ethical Practice

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I. PREAMBLE

  1. Mission: CBIE is the national voice advancing Canadian international education by creating and mobilizing expertise, knowledge, opportunity and leadership.
  2. Vision: CBIE is a global leader in international education, dedicated to equity, quality, inclusiveness and partnership.
  3. This leadership is underpinned by the following core values to which all CBIE members subscribe: Quality, Equity, Inclusion, Partnership.
  4.  CBIE is comprised of institutional and associate members. For simplicity this Code refers to all institutional and associate members as ‘members’.
  5. In keeping with our mission, vision and core values, the goal of this Code is to provide ethical guidelines for members to follow and against which they can assess their own performance. However the Code does not prescribe how members should act in all situations. Moreover it is understood that not all members engage in all of the areas or activities of international education addressed in this Code.
  6. Members accept and agree to abide by this Code by virtue of their membership in CBIE. Members shall hold responsibility for individuals who act for or represent them in international education endeavours. Those signing the Code on behalf of the member shall bring the existence and content of the Code to the attention of their representatives involved in international education, who shall uphold this Code at all times.
  7. Members shall ensure that risk management and emergency protocols are in place, and cover all aspects of international education in which they engage.
  8. In addition to the Code, members shall be aware of the provincial, federal and international charters and laws which are applicable, especially in such matters as confidentiality of personal files and regulations concerning the dignity and integrity of individuals and their human rights. They shall ensure that their representatives are aware of and follow these charters and laws as applicable.
  9. Moreover, members shall be aware of the Call to Action issued by the International Association of Universities (Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization in Higher Education, April 2012) and the International Student Mobility Charter developed by the Network of International Education Associations (September 2012), in both of which CBIE is a member, and shall endeavour to follow the principles and guidelines found therein. 

II. PROFESSIONALS ENGAGED IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

CBIE members shall ensure that international education and academic staff:

  1. Treat all individuals fairly and equitably, regardless of race, colour, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, political opinion, immigration status, or disability.
  2. Accurately represent their expertise.
  3. In making public statements, clearly distinguish between their personal opinions  and those of CBIE, their institution, and other organizations.
  4. Are knowledgeable about differences in culture and values, and recognize that individuals from different backgrounds have different perspectives.
  5. Are knowledgeable about global events that may impact students and programs.

III. SERVICES TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

CBIE members shall:

  1. Ensure that international students have access to support services which promote their adjustment to life and study in Canada, and to assistance in areas which could affect their programs, including physical and mental health services.
  2. Promote the interests of international students in the institutional community, and provide meaningful opportunities for interaction that promotes intercultural and mutual understanding between international students and other members of the institutional community and, to the extent possible, the surrounding community.
  3. Promote understanding among staff and faculty of the special academic, social and cultural needs of international students, with emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups.
  4. Appoint advisers, counselors, and other representatives who have the requisite competencies, training and experience to offer support services, and provide them with appropriate resources and opportunities for professional development activities to update and enhance their intercultural competencies, and their knowledge of regulations and regulatory practices.
  5. Ensure support to international students facing stress or crisis due to personal issues in Canada or in their home country, or due to national issues such as civil unrest and natural disaster in their home country.
  6. Respect and maintain the rights and confidentiality of international students in all matters including health, personal circumstances and academics, providing information only as required by law to the competent authorities, or in the event of a risk to the safety and security of the student or others.
  7. Provide access to an ombudsperson or other impartial authority to whom students can turn for the resolution of legitimate problems, disputes or concerns, or for guidance in identifying legal advice, in areas related to their studies, status and welfare.
  8. Establish a policy that restricts access to international students by special interest groups, unless potential benefit is demonstrated and transparency is assured, including clear identification of the group, its goals, and its objectives in communications to international students.

IV. ADMISSIONS AND RECRUITMENT

 CBIE members shall:

  1. Ensure consistent and coherent criteria for the admission of international students and make these available in published form.
  2. Provide promotional material that does not, by commission or omission, provide false, incomplete or misleading information.
  3. Ensure that admissions staff have competency in evaluating academic credentials from abroad and establishing equivalencies, and remain up to date.
  4. Provide realistic descriptions of tuition and other costs, and the possibility of financial aid, and provide this information to applicants before or upon acceptance to a program of study.
  5. Ensure (and provide clear, transparent information on) a policy regarding language proficiency and training (i.e. English or French as a Second Language Programs) with particular reference to the availability and cost of courses, level of proficiency targeted in each course, and the relationship of language proficiency to admission to academic programs to which the applicant has applied, including conditional admission.
  6. Exercise due diligence when working with agents to recruit international students, endeavouring to ensure that these agents have the appropriate knowledge to advise students regarding their academic options.

V.   STUDY ABROAD

CBIE members shall:

  1. Endeavour to offer a selection of study abroad opportunities for all interested students who demonstrate the capability to participate, based on a transparent set of requirements.
  2. Promote study abroad as an important educational activity that offers academic, personal and professional benefits.
  3. Endeavour to increase access to study abroad, being cognizant of potential financial and other barriers to student involvement.
  4. Appoint study abroad advisers and managers who have the requisite competencies, training and experience to offer support services, and provide them with appropriate resources and opportunities for professional development activities to update and enhance their competencies.
  5. Provide up-to-date information and advice on international opportunities, so that students can make informed choices.
  6. Provide pre-departure services to outbound study abroad students and provide re-entry support services to returning students, including guidance on academic, social and health matters, to assist them in ensuring success in their programs.

VI. INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

CBIE members shall:

  1. Enter into partnership agreements that are based on respect and cooperation and are in the mutual interest of all partners.
  2. Inform themselves of legal obligations and implications of partnership prior to entering into an official agreement.
  3. When entering into agreements involving collaborative degree and diploma programs, put in place systems to ensure quality in all components of the program.
  4. Use all reasonable efforts to ensure the partner’s engagement to maintain the confidentiality of shared student information, and around matters such as equality, honest disclosure and student service. 

VII.  CROSS-BORDER PROJECTS, PROGRAMS, CAMPUSES

CBIE members shall:

  1. Endeavour to ensure that their cross-border activities serve the interests of the host community and country.
  2. Exercise due diligence in regard to the legal standing of their cross-border activities.
  3. Establish policies and practices designed to ensure quality according to standards understood by all parties.
  4. Ensure that cross-border activities fulfill the institution’s commitments under CBIE’s Code of Ethical Practice in International Education.

Adopted by CBIE’s Board of Directors, February 8, 2013

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