Canada’s International Education Strategy renewal: Consultation for Global Affairs Canada

November 6, 2023
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Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities, representing public and private not-for-profit institutions at home and abroad. Our 97 universities are located in communities across Canada, serving over 1.4 million students and employing upwards of 400,000 people. Our universities—through teaching, research and local engagement—transform lives, strengthen communities and find solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our country and the world.

Canada’s universities continue to build multi-faceted and comprehensive international partnerships which include two-way student and faculty mobility, capacity-building, joint programming and research collaboration. Universities have been focused on diversifying their international student population to ensure enrolment remains sustainable and their campuses reflect true diversity. Universities Canada is leading a market recovery and diversification strategy to rebuild existing markets and expand Canada’s international student recruitment efforts.

Universities Canada plays a supportive role to our members’ internationalization goals. Over the past three years, we have led exploratory work in specific regions and countries identified by our membership. This includes Vietnam, the Philippines, Colombia, Morocco, Senegal and longer-term engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa. During the pandemic, we adapted our international engagement through virtual activities, which included digital missions and virtual roundtables with ambassadors and our members. Our approach involves raising Canada’s profile through presidents’ missions and signature events, including recent digital missions in Vietnam and Morocco, the Canada-in-Asia Conference in Singapore and an upcoming in-person mission to the Philippines in November 2023.

In preparing this submission, Universities Canada conducted in-depth consultations with our member institutions to determine our sector’s priorities for the new International Education Strategy. These consultations were conducted in English and French and were comprised of focus groups with International Liaison Officers and Government Relations Officers, one-on-one discussions with department heads and written submissions from institutions across Canada. From these consultations, we heard that universities look to collaborate with Global Affairs Canada on initiatives that support the EduCanada brand, such as market diversification activities, research collaboration, in-country trade commissioner support, commitments to funding mobility programs and addressing issues with study permit processing.

Tagged:  Global connections

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