Executive Director: Amrit Ahluwalia


Meet Amrit Ahluwalia

New executive director of Western Continuing Studies shares his thoughts on the importance of continuing education for adults and working professionals. 

By Nicole Laidler


Amrit Ahluwalia, Executive Director of Western Continuing Studies, brings more than a decade of experience working in the continuing education field to the role. 

Prior to joining Western Continuing Studies, Ahluwalia served as editor-in-chief of The EvoLLLution, North America’s leading online source for news and research about non-traditional postsecondary education, and as senior director for marketing and strategic insights at Modern Campus, an educational technology company serving universities and colleges. 

“I’ve had the chance to work with some of the leading thinkers in the continuing education space, and to talk about how the industry is changing,” says Ahluwalia, who moved to London with his wife in 2021. “When the opportunity presented itself to join an institution like Western to help build a continuing education division that aligns in terms of quality and impact with the brand of the institution while at the same time supporting the workforce in and around southwestern Ontario, it was an exciting opportunity to put theory into practice.” 


An agile approach to education 

Continuing education has a unique advantage over a traditional university curriculum, he notes. “We have the capacity to look at forces that are very rapidly and significantly changing the way that people work,” he says. “And we have the ability to be agile and responsive.” 

This makes it an appealing choice for a wide range of non-traditional learners. 

“It could be a recent graduate wanting specific career-focused programming with work-integrated learning opportunities to provide them with experience to help start their career, a 40-year-old mid-career professional looking to upskill or reskill, a single mom seeking access to post-secondary programming so she can launch a career in a sustainable field, or a senior citizen looking to pursue personal interests,” says Ahluwalia. “Our job is to create personalized and tailored experiences for a diverse array of students pursuing a diverse array of programs to meet a diverse array of needs. The starting point is to recognize that our students are not a homogenous group.” 


A tailored learning experience

“It’s really important in the continuing education space to treat students as consumers and as customers,” Ahluwalia says. “They have infinite choice and very clear demands and expectations of the institution.” Many people who pursue non-traditional post-secondary education are not looking to earn a degree, he notes. Rather, they want to earn a specific professional credential or learn a skillset that will help them achieve a clear-cut goal.

“Some people are looking for a three-hour lecture because they need a particular piece of information. Others are looking for a virtual bootcamp or an eight-month certificate program because it will help them gain the critical competencies and skills they need to get a promotion.  Our goal is to create learning environments designed for all those individuals.”

At Western Continuing Studies, learners can choose from more than 200 online courses and micro-credentials and more than 50 professional certificates and post-degree programs, all taught by professionals working and researching in the field. 

“We’re really proud of the quality of programming that we offer,” says Ahluwalia. “Western University is one of the premier educational providers globally, and representing the Western brand is something that we take very, very seriously.”


Expanding the impact of higher learning 

Ahluwalia says that continuing education can put higher learning in reach of everyone, regardless of their background. “Some people may not see Western as an option for professional development. But we can provide responsive and relevant learning opportunities that will help them achieve their goals. And we will treat them with respect and dignity. That is something that I believe is really important.” 

“As an institution, Western Continuing Studies has the capacity to extend our reach to support a wide group of individuals,” he says. “We have the ability to partner with industry and employers across this area and to create greater access to better jobs. We can help industries grow because we have the ability to help educate their workforces. These are all things we have the capacity to do right out of Western Continuing Studies.” 


Amrit Ahluwalia


Amrit Ahluwalia, Executive Director of Western Continuing Studies, brings more than a decade of experience working in the continuing education field to the role. 

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