Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray
Saint Mary's University
This month we talked to Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President of Saint Mary’s University. Saint Mary’s is a leader across Canada in welcoming and educating international students and engaging Canadian students in global experiences.
Tell us about Saint Mary's and the greatest opportunities/challenges that lie ahead?
"Saint Mary’s will continue to be the university of choice for aspiring citizens of the world, building on our traditions of accessibility and community engagement. Our commitment is to be engaged in the community, make an impact within the wider world and be active global citizens.
Saint Mary’s has students from 119 countries studying here in Halifax and has recently launched new business programs in China. The university was profiled by the Globe and Mail as one of two Canadian universities taking internationalization to new heights. We will continue working with our external partners to ensure there is opportunity for our graduates to live and work in the Atlantic region, each with a distinctively global perspective that brings value to our businesses and communities. Saint Mary’s is strategically positioned to contribute to the economic and social future of Nova Scotia."
What do you see as the greatest advantages of operating a business in Halifax?
"The talent pool. The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy released in February 2014 highlighted that the province should view the high concentration of universities and colleges as an asset in growing our economy. Our province benefits from this strong post-secondary education system. Together we play a critical role in ensuring Nova Scotia has a highly-skilled and diverse workforce that will lead research and innovation and generate economic growth."
Hiring youth is important to the economic growth of Nova Scotia. What is your company doing?
"We continue to build on our roots of teaching excellence, student success, accessibility and outreach. Our aim is to prepare our graduates and Nova Scotia in general to succeed in a global environment, meet the market needs of Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Region and provide pathways for career progression. Our strong international partnerships and longstanding leadership role in bringing international students to Nova Scotia, combined with our entrepreneurial and leadership skill programs, directly advance the priorities of the province. Working with other universities and colleges, businesses and government agencies, we are focusing on creating more experiential learning opportunities for our students."