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EIT agreement with Canadian College sees first student arrive to study on EIT’s Hawke’s Bay Campus

October 31, 2022

Sidney Hoogendijk

A successful cooperation agreement between EIT and a Canadian tertiary institute, Humber College, has resulted in the first Humber student studying in person on EIT’s Hawke’s Bay Campus.

EIT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Humber College of Toronto, Canada, in November 2018. A Memorandum of Understanding Articulation Agreement was signed in September 2019.

The inaugural Humber student is Yasmin-Saleena Bajwa, who began studying fully online for a Master of IT at EIT in February 2022. While COVID-19 resulted in the first student to come to New Zealand being delayed, on 8 July this year, 22-year-old Sidney Hoogendijk began the second part of her Master of Health Science in Hawke’s Bay.

Yasmin says that while she had never heard of EIT before discovering the Humber/EIT pathway to a Masters, she has enjoyed the online programme. She is studying a Master of IT, having previously done a Bachelor of Communication Studies as well as a Post Grad in UX Design through Humber.

“It is an honour to be the inaugural Humber College student! What that means to me is that I can bring my unique perspectives and experiences to a collaborative study environment such as EIT.”

“I’m finding my programme to be engrossing and my professors have been an absolute delight to learn from. They want us to succeed.”

Originally from Toronto, but currently living in Detroit, USA. Yasmin would like to visit New Zealand at some stage.”

“I have never been to New Zealand, but would love to come for my graduation ceremony in the near future. I think the relationship between Humber and EIT truly provides students with an opportunity to get their Master’s in a shorter timeframe and is extremely helpful for students who are also working full time.”

For Sidney, being in New Zealand has been an exciting experience. She says that after doing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she completed a Graduate Certificate in Addiction and Mental Health from Humber before being encouraged to follow the Pathways Programme at EIT.

“I was delayed a little bit because of COVID, but then came here through the nominations, and now I’m here, and I love it.”

“I hadn’t heard of EIT before, but Humber told me about the Pathway programme, and I’ve always wanted to travel to New Zealand because it has been on my bucket list since I was a kid.”

Yasmin-Saleena Bajwa

Sidney says she decided to apply for the programme without much of a plan of being chosen.

“When I was accepted I was really excited, but I didn’t know what I was getting into. No one from Humber has gone to EIT, so there weren’t really any tips. I was a bit anxious coming to a new country and leaving my parents for the first time, but I found it quite easy because everyone has been very friendly and helpful.”

Living in the Student Village at the Hawke’s Bay Campus has allowed Sidney to get involved in student life and focus on her studies. She is aware of the responsibility that comes with being the first Humber College student to study at EIT.

“I didn’t even know I was the first one until I came here, but I am proud of myself for that. However, I do also feel a little bit of pressure to do well academically and be a good person.”

Sidney is now focused on getting to grips with her Master’s, with her research report looking at the mental health inequalities of indigenous people in Canada and New Zealand.

“I started off my postgraduate in criminology and through that, I discovered that I was more interested in the psychology part of humans. And just as I was going to my classes and getting older, I found more of an interest and a passion for mental health and caring for others. I am hoping to work in mental health or healthcare when I finish studying.”

The aim is for Sidney is to be the first of many Humber students to study in person in New Zealand, while the number of online students increases.

Philippa Jones, EIT’s Executive Director, International, says: “It’s great to welcome students from our international partnership with Humber College Canada now arriving at our Hawke’s Bay Campus as well as studying online. This is another excellent example of how EIT | Te Pῡkenga is building our long term strategic international partnerships with our international partners to incorporate different delivery models, thereby meeting our international students where and how they want to study.”