Kalai Ponniah Named Vice President for Education Services at Eton College Canada

The senior education management executive, who has more than 20 years of experience in international education and cultural exchange, has been appointed as the VP for Education Services at Eton College from serving as Campus Director since mid-2019.

Kalai Ponniah, a senior education management executive who has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of international education and cultural exchange, has been named Vice President for Education Services at Vancouver-based Eton College Canada.

Taking on various important roles throughout his career in higher education, including as an AVP and director of international education, Ponniah served as Eton College’s Campus Director since September 2019 prior to his recent appointment.

In his new role, Ponniah will strategically lead and manage Eton College, including expanding its global presence through setting up global campuses and initiating new articulation agreements and partnerships.

Before joining Eton College, Kalai was the AVP for International Education for Upper Iowa University for almost 10 years, where he was instrumental in the launch of its Asia operations of and new strategic directions to increase its international student base.

Kalai also led a significant international recruiting effort aimed at undergraduate and graduate students from China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Vietnam, resulting in a 148% increase in international student enrollments and a 226% increase in gross revenue from such initiative.

“It’s an exciting journey ahead for Eton College as it grows and establishes a leadership in the post-secondary market. We are keen to push our boundaries and work hard to position our college as a key player in offering career-related and academic programs in British Columbia and globally,” said Ponniah, whose strength lies in areas such as strategic planning, organizational leadership, staff and faculty recruitment, international partnerships, fiscal leadership, fundraising, and accreditation.

Eton College offers career-oriented and academic programs in Business Administration, Travel and Tourism Management, Hospitality Management, and Flight Attendant Preparation to launch students’ professional career, advanced studies, or desire for international education. Its pathway programs enable students to transfer certain diploma credits to partner schools and universities around the world in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

Eton College is a member institution of MSM HigherED, a Canada-based network of prestigious post-secondary institutions that deliver the highest-quality academic, vocational and English language programs, preparing students to pursue their desired careers or progress onto the world’s leading universities.

“The world’s learners deserve nothing but the best, so we always make it a point to take innovative, disruptive steps to grow, diversify, and improve the value of our offerings each time. This means working with seasoned leaders like Kalai, who has always espoused student-focused initiatives while delivering the needs of industry and our public-private partnerships,” said Dean Duperron, Chairperson of MSM HigherED. 

Ponniah is proficient in five languages, namely English, Indonesian, Malay, Telugu, and Tamil. He currently lives in Langley, British Columbia with his wife, Sharni, and their son, Om, lives in Calgary.