Director, International Student Services (ISS)

Updated: 21 days ago

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International Student Services

International Student Services (ISS) supports the growth, progress, and success of all international students (including visiting and exchange students) at McGill and aims to ease their transition to a new university, a new home and a new country. They provide a range of services and resources for international students including orientation webinars, immigration advising, health insurance guidance, and social and cultural programming and events.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Director Student Services, the Director develops and implements strategic and organizational plans,  and sets priorities for International Student Services (ISS) within the framework of the Student Services and Student Life and Learning’s strategic orientations. They manage and oversee financial and operational aspects of ISS

The Director provides expertise and advice to the McGill Community, on provincial and federal immigration policies for international students. They ensure the delivery of an inclusive and comprehensive suite of services and programming for international students and scholars, as they transition to McGill and until they graduate in collaboration with Student Services directors and other campus partners.  

The Director of ISS oversees the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at McGill.  Represents McGill at Mastercard Foundation convenings and networking events with other partners of the Foundation.

Primary Responsibilities

Expertise and Collaboration:

  • Acts as Senior Advisor to University Administrators on topics related to international students’ enrollment and on policies regarding international students’ employment (part-time work, internships and experiential learning, post-graduation work permits).
  • Analyses and informs the community on how changes in provincial/federal immigration policies affect  McGill’s policies and  our international student population.
  • Works closely with communications teams (DPSLL, Central, S2) to provide advice and recommend communications on the impact of world events such as natural disasters, pandemics, conflicts, on our international student community. Impact could include travel restrictions, visa accommodations, work permits for students and accompanying family members.
  • Works closely with Government Relations to address barriers and challenges faced by international students applying for Immigration documents.
  • Works closely with the Study Abroad office to share ISS’ expertise and support to international students participating in exchange and study abroad programs.
  • Supports VP International Engagement and their team in the development and delivery of McGill International Strategy.
  • Supports Enrollment Services teams to ensure recruitment efforts, admission process and collection of legal documents are up-to-date and compliant with MIFI’s and IRCC’s procedures, policies, and regulations.
  • Ensures that ISS activities are compliant with Article 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (Immigration Advisors must be member of a Bar Association or member of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants).
  • Actively participates and contributes to the strategic and tactical leadership of the Student Services’ Directors’ Group.
  • Collaborate with Student Services Directors and other campus partners on joint project impacting international students.

Support Services and Programming:

  • Chairs the Advisory Committee on International students (CSS subcommittee) to consult student leaderships on international students’ barriers and challenges and to improve communications and promotion of activities and services.
  • Promotes and advocates for action on issues relevant to international students. 
  • Ensures ISS programming activities and delivery modality address students’ needs in their student life cycle from pre-arrival until graduation.
  • Collaborates with campus partners to provides support and access to international students seeking French language courses/programs to meet provincial requirements.
  • Collaborates with units in Student Services (S2) to complement services, share digital platforms and avoid duplication.
  • Responsible for addressing special needs and offer dedicated support to international scholars who may be students at-risk such as Mastercard Foundation, WUSC Student Refugee Program, Karta Initiative, Jusoor Foundation, University of the People and future international collaborations.
  • Responsible to ensure that all international students have adequate medical coverage while studying on-campus or when they study abroad.
  • In collaboration with the Student Wellness Hub, ensures that information about accessing health care in Montreal (in-person and telemedicine) is readily available and accessible, using the International Health Insurance plan for international students, or registering with RAMQ when applicable.
  • Conducts annual renewal of International Health Insurance plan in accordance with Senate Regulations. Initiates and participates in invitations to tender, when needed.
  • Supports the Dean of Students Office and the McGill Student Wellness Hub to assess complex Case Management of international students.
  • In collaboration with Assessment and Evaluation, assess services for international students and upcoming needs.
  • Network and partner with external organizations (BCI, Montreal International, CBIE) to improve and expand service delivery.

Leadership and Administration:

  • Oversees ISS Budget ($1M) and annual International Health Insurance contract ($11M)
  • Nurtures a culture of wellness, equity and engagement in the team and provides tools for personal and professional growth.
  • Liaises with the Human Resources Student Services and staff on matters related to working conditions.  Ensures that University policies, procedures and collective agreements are followed.
  • Provides Human Resource management for the Department, including recruitment, hiring, and conducts Performance Dialogue with direct reports. 
  • Adopts measures to deliver Service Excellence model.

Mastercard Foundation Scholarships Program

  • Works in close collaboration with the Program Manager and provide guidance on award criteria for Scholarships, requests from the Foundation and programs adjustments to comply with the partnership agreement.
  • Strategize with the DPSLL, Faculties, on how to improve, enrich and enhance the program.
  • Oversees the scholarship budget, tuition and housing fees and all other expenses that may be covered by the scholarship.
  • Advise DPSLL on overall budget administration (funding to other SLL units –i.e. admission, recruitment, assessment, etc)
  • Resolve any and all major issues and challenges related to this program and report to the DPSLL
  • Attend annual Mastercard Foundation Administrators meetings and Canadian Partners meetings.
  • In collaboration with University Advancement (UA) and the DPSLL  liaise with the MasterCard Foundation to create a strong, personalized and healthy relationship.

Other Qualifying Skills and Abilities

  • University degree in related field. (International Development, Law, Education, or related field.
  • Outstanding leadership experience in international education combined with a minimum of 5 years of administrative experience in higher education;
  • Interest and awareness of geopolitical conflicts and world events.
  • Recent and relevant experience working with international student populations. Intercultural competencies: demonstrable understanding of international students’ challenges and barriers.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of immigration policies and procedures to study in a University in Quebec.
  • Certified Immigration Consultant license or Member of a Bar Association is a strong asset.
  • Proven ability to supervise Management team and administer budget.
  • Bilingualism: excellent written and oral skill in English and French, spoken and written.

Knowledge of French and English: McGill University is an English-language university where day to day duties may require English communication both verbally and in writing. The level of English required for this position has been assessed at a level 4  (Fluent) on a scale of 0-4.

McGill University is committed to equity and diversity within its community and values academic rigour and excellence. We welcome and encourage applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all qualified candidates with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.

At McGill, research that reflects diverse intellectual traditions, methodologies, and modes of dissemination and translation is valued and encouraged. Candidates are invited to demonstrate their research impact both within and across academic disciplines and in other sectors, such as government, communities, or industry.

McGill further recognizes and fairly considers the impact of leaves (e.g., family care or health-related) that may contribute to career interruptions or slowdowns. Candidates are encouraged to signal any leave that affected productivity, or that may have had an effect on their career path. This information will be considered to ensure the equitable assessment of the candidate’s record.

McGill implements an employment equity program and encourages members of designated equity groups to self-identify. It further seeks to ensure the equitable treatment and full inclusion of persons with disabilities by striving for the implementation of universal design principles transversally, across all facets of the University community, and through accommodation policies and procedures . Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application process may contact, in confidence, [email protected] .

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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