Case: The Global Polytechnic Alliance, GPA

Global opportunities for students in polytechnic education

VIA engages in alliances with selected partner institutions from around the world. An alliance is a deep-rooted partnership in which the parties work together strategically, based on common interests, on strengthening the participating institutions academically, for staff and students alike.

Rectors signing memorandum 

Polytechnic collaboration

In 2018, Humber College (Canada), Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand) and VIA signed a three-way agreement establishing the Global Polytechnic Alliance (GPA) with the aim of providing new learning and collaborative opportunities for students and staff while strengthening the understanding of the benefits of polytechnic education across the globe. The alliance increases opportunities for students at each institution to gain international experience and develop intercultural skills. In addition, the alliance is committed to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals which are integrated into every section of the common GPA work plan and is the core in the development of a common Graduate Certificate for Sustainable Leadership.

Complementary specialties

Otago Polytechnic is a global leader in indigenizing curriculum, Humber College has a strong polytechnic position, while VIA University College’s project-based learning approach and innovation in teaching is globally recognized. Students will have the opportunity to participate in three-way mobility through summer programmes, online collaboration and semesters abroad. Go here to see an example of an online collaboration for students: Map the System competition.

Strengthened ties with global industry

Beyond the classroom, collaborative research initiatives will enhance teaching and support services at the three institutions through informed practice. Applied research initiatives will strengthen ties with industry globally and the three institutions will collaborate on education consultancy services with a strong focus on sustainability to new and emerging polytechnics globally.

What our partners say

Throughout our global polytechnic alliance with VIA University College, we have established a mutual relationship where learners are challenged to prepare for a future world and our connections with staff have led to global conversations and actions around innovative education and applied research.  Global partnerships like this are built on strong connections, friendships and a shared understanding of the importance of our future. Megan Gibbons, CEO of Otago Polytechnic
Humber’s engagement in the GPA has been a key part of our global strategy to lead the sector in innovation with creative solutions for the future of our communities, society and the world.  Through our partnership with VIA and Otago Polytechnic, we have collaborated on initiatives that support industry training needs through the development of micro-credentials, faculty and students have engaged with the SDGs to work together using systems thinking to solve local and global problems, and our senior leadership teams have participated in research and sharing of best practices to strengthen our institutions.  During these challenging times the value of the GPA is even more pronounced as each institution supports their communities to solve the challenges that we will all face moving forward Laurie Rancourt, Senior Vice President Academic, Humber


More information on the GPA:

Tina Lisberg Bundgaard, Senior Executive Advisor,