A second outstanding program award for The Philosopher's Teahouse

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – In recognizing the best this year, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) awarded Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Philosopher’s Teahouse with the Panorama Award for Outstanding International Education Program.

Offering a level of engagement unprecedented in B.C. ESL and international education programming, the design, planning, implementation and management of Dr. Wendy Royal’s Teahouse was recognized in the extracurricular category for its innovation, excellence and quality.

The CBIE award comes just months after the KPU initiative won the BC Council for International Education (BCCIE) Award for Outstanding Program in International Education.

“To be given the provincial award was very encouraging. Having the additional recognition at a national level is incredibly exciting, and validates what we are trying to achieve in building an inclusive, respectful and critically engaged community at KPU,” said Dr. Royal. “This award is for all of us – the students and my colleagues whose enthusiastic participation and support have made the Teahouse the success that it is.”

Modeled after the Philosopher’s Café concept, the program engages Canadian and international students in topical and challenging discussions that transcend borders. Multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary, the endeavour was founded in 2010 after Dr. Royal noticed the isolation of international and ESL students from local Canadian students, and saw it as a lost learning opportunity.

To date, The Philosopher’s Teahouse has moved hundreds of students and educators to push the boundaries of their perspectives, question previously held assumptions and learn about the many cultures represented at KPU and in the university’s communities. One of the program's most important aspects is encouraging students to create positive change on campus, and to act as global citizens and social-change humanitarians in their communities.

Past themes of the Teahouse have included the racialization of beauty; racism; gender and violence; navigating Canada’s multicultural mosaic, and; awakening the activist within, which featured guest speaker Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children and We Day.

For more information about KPU’s award-winning Philosopher’s Teahouse, visit: kpu.ca/cgme/philosophers-teahouse. A list of CBIE’s 2014 Excellence Awards winners is available here.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at www.kpu.ca.


Caption: Dr. Wendy Royal with Craig (left) and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free the Children and We Day, as they receive their honorary degrees from KPU in 2012. Craig Kielburger has visited The Philosopher’s Teahouse as a guest speaker.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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