SAULT STE. MARIE -- In an effort to attract students from southern Ontario, six northern colleges are banding together to promote the north. Study North aims to offer southern students a northern educational alternative.

Study North is comprised of Sault College, Northern College in Timmins, Sudbury's College Boreal and Cambrian College, Canadore College in North Bay and Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

Sault College president Ron Common was a driving force behind Study North when it launched seven years ago.

Share resources

"By collaborating, we were able to share resources, share recruiters, share promotional material, as we went after attracting students to come north," said Common.

For the first time, Study North is holding a virtual event where each college has an opportunity to sell itself.

"We’ll talk about what are the unique things we have up north," said Sumit Swami, chair of Study North. "We’ll talk about what the community has to offer. We’ll talk about what are the new things they can learn when they are here, programs, colleges, and, of course, we’ll answer their questions, have a one-on-one with them."

Swami said although the colleges are typically competing against one another for students, each institution has something unique to promote.

"Cambrian has something very unique to offer, Canadore has something, Confed, Northern, Boreal and Sault," said Swami. "We all have something so unique that we can put onto the table that maybe Northern doesn’t have, maybe Sault doesn’t have. So this is a very collective and positive experience altogether."

The Study North virtual event is being held on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.