FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Lights College has partnered with the Uasin Gishu County of Kenya government, marking what staff believe to be the college’s first collaboration with a government overseas.

The partnership will see up to fifty students from the county come to NLC campuses in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to study a wide variety of diploma programs, fully sponsored by the Uasin Gishu County Government.

Acting vice president of student services and community relations, Scott Clerk says the partnership came about after getting in touch with an educational agent with connections to the Peace.

“The agent actually lives in Vancouver and used to teach at Grande Prairie Regional College, and at the time, he was making connections with this county’s government,” Clerk explained.

Clerk says the county has what they call a student sponsorship program, previously sending Kenyan students to Finland to study.

“The county decided they wanted to send students to Canada next,” Clerk said.

According to Clerk, this partnership will benefit local students in a few different ways.

“By having students from around the world on campus, local students get a richer campus experience. Some of them will meet Kenyans for the first time, and they’ll have that kind of richer intercultural experience,” Clerk said.

“Beyond that, we are talking to the Uasin Gishu County about furthering this relationship and potentially trying to develop some study abroad opportunities for our local students in Kenya,”

Clerk says when the governor of the county visited, the college connected him with the Pan African Caribbean Association of Fort St. John.

“We’re hoping to be able to do some work with the association when this large group of students arrive so that they can connect with people from the African diaspora that live in the peace region,” Clerk said.

The students are expected to arrive in September 2022 and will be housed in NLC dorms.