Canada-Mexico university mission

Global education and research collaboration

Canada and Mexico share a strong and prosperous relationship as strategic partners in the Americas and in the world. As the Canadian government deepens its economic and diplomatic ties with Mexico, universities play a critical role in bolstering this relationship.

From May 22 to 25, Canadian university presidents and senior leaders of research organizations met with their Mexican colleagues to focus on increasing student exchanges and further strengthening research collaboration between our two countries.

Photos of the mission

Two women university presidents smiling.

Photo gallery

In the media

There’s a growing demand for global competencies. . . Our young people need to spend more time abroad as well as interact with the world when it comes to us.

Why Mexico?

Mexico matters. It is one of Canada’s most important partners for trade and diplomacy. Higher education and research partnerships strengthen and expand these valuable connections.

Bilateral study abroad and research experiences help students from both countries acquire valuable career and language skills for the North American and global job market. These kind of global competencies will help today’s students achieve their potential in the rapidly changing world economy.

The mission also helped advance research collaboration in priority areas for each country, including urbanization, business, health, digital technologies, Indigenous education and environmental sustainability.

Mission’s goals

Our universities are connecting Canadian talent to the world. This raises Canada’s international profile and promotes our country as an open, diverse and welcoming place for study, research and innovation collaboration. Objectives included:

  • Boosting two-way talent exchange and joint research
  • Reinforcing Canada’s position as a talent magnet
  • Opening doors to collaboration for Canadian universities new to Mexico

Student mobility the numbers

  • 11%
    study abroad

    Only 11% of Canadian undergraduates undertake an international mobility experience over the course of their degree, despite the clear benefits of global study to building future skills.

    Source: Study Group on Global Education, Global Education for Canadians: Equipping Young Canadians to Succeed at Home & Abroad, November 2017.
  • 70%
    see cost as barrier

    Students surveyed say they would study abroad if it was more affordable and part of their study program.

    Source: Why don't more Canadian students study abroad?, 2016 Academica Group survey of 1,400 students.
  • 16%
    increase in Mexican study permits

    In 2017, 6,920 Mexicans had a study permit valid for 6 months or more. Between 2016-2017, there was an increase of 16% of Mexican study permit holders at all levels of education in Canada.

    Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Study permit holders on December 31 by country of citizenship, Open government license – Canada.
  • $15.5B
    economic impact

    In 2016, international students, including their visiting families and friends, spent $15.5 billion on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending – more than Canada’s exports of auto parts, lumber or aircraft.

    Source: Global Affairs Canada, Economic impact of international education in Canada – 2017 update, Government of Canada.
  • 169K
    Canadian jobs

    In 2016, international students studying in Canada helped sustained 169,000 jobs across Canada and generated $2.8 billion in tax revenues for all levels of government.

    Source: Economic impact of international education in Canada – 2017 update
  • 23%
    lower unemployment rate for Eramus students

    Five years after graduation, the unemployment rate of students of the EU Erasmus student exchange program is 23% lower. They have better employability skills after a stay abroad than 70% of all students.

    Source: The Erasmus Impact Study, Effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and the internationalisation of higher education institutions, European Commission, 2014.

Spotlight on


École nationale d’administration publique
Guy Laforest
Director general

Lakehead University
Moira McPherson
Interim president

NSCAD University
Dianne Taylor-Gearing

Royal Roads University
Allan Cahoon

St. Francis Xavier University
Kent MacDonald

Université du Québec à Montréal
Magda Fusaro

Université du Québec en Outaouais
Denis Harrisson

University of Calgary
Elizabeth Cannon

Inter-American Organization for Higher Education
David Julien
Executive Director

Alejandro Adem
CEO and Scientific director

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Mario Pinto

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Ted Hewitt

Media inquiries

Nadine Robitaille
Communications manager
613-563-3961 ext. 306
[email protected]

Universities Canada