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Commentary - September 10, 2014

The following op-ed was published in Embassy News, September 10, 2014

By Perrin Beatty and Paul Davidson

For all its connectedness, today’s global marketplace requires much navigation. Understanding the nuances of international commerce, politics, culture and language has become increasingly important to Canada’s economy. Whether it’s to pitch a new product, analyze trade patterns, or navigate licensing, the business need for globally aware graduates of higher education has never been greater.

Increasingly, Canada has those graduates. And in the federal government’s International Education Strategy, we see a critical commitment to internationalize the education of more Canadians and recruit more students from abroad who may meet our talent needs. This strategy has the potential to strengthen Canada’s hand in the competition for global talent, while improving our research linkages around the world.

The first comprehensive plan of its kind, the International Education Strategy is designed to bolster Canada’s international reputation for excellence in higher education and research. It aims to double the number of international students in Canada by 2022 and lays out a blueprint for enhancing Canada’s education brand abroad, particularly in six priority markets: Brazil, India, China, Vietnam, Mexico and North Africa/the Middle East, including Turkey.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomed the strategy as a positive step toward making Canada more innovative in a fiercely competitive global marketplace. As we develop and implement the best mechanisms needed to make a solid impact, we are ready to add our input and expertise.

Recognition of the importance of international education is growing. As a relatively young country of immigrants, Canadians know how doors can open when there is a common understanding among communities. That understanding comes from a well-educated workforce with global perspective and experience. The federal government’s Global Markets Action Plan, a global commerce strategy acknowledges that by targeting education as a priority sector and the attraction of talent as a goal.

Students today who have chosen to include studies beyond our borders as part of their education have broadened their view and seen the potential of the world. As graduates and new employees, they will know what it looks and feels like to work in another country.

Far from a luxury, industry needs students to have global experiences, to gain a cultural awareness that can’t come from a textbook, and to equip themselves with languages driving commerce in growing overseas markets.

Sending Canadian students abroad is one side of the coin. The other side is opening our doors to students from abroad. Beyond the diverse perspectives and experiences these individuals bring to Canada, international students could be a source for talent acquisition for Canada’s future labour market, helping us to address skills shortages and slowing labour force growth.

International research is an equally valuable focus of the strategy, fostering partnerships for Canada’s top scientists to collaborate with the best minds in the world and help us attract top foreign talent. With new funding for international research, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund is a tangible recognition of the connection between a vibrant, innovative and competitive Canadian economy and a world-class research system that always sets its sights higher.

Our universities are the subject of global attention for everything from innovation in nanotechnology to understanding the human genome. The attention is well-earned. Canadian university faculty members are among the most collaborative in the world.

As we work out the details that will make this new strategy as effective as it can be, all parties must be at the table – government, business and higher education. Now is the time to move Canada’s International Education Strategy forward. Now is the time to get it right. The consequences of doing anything less are too high. The global marketplace is contending. We cannot be outpaced.

As representatives of business and universities, we have separate memberships and our own organizational goals. But our paths cross as we work as representatives of Canada. Whether it’s connecting on a trade mission or working with governments, the bigger picture emerges in our shared desire to keep Canada competitive and prosperous.  We want graduates of higher education to have the global skills imperative for our changing world, and the International Education Strategy will help accomplish this.

It’s time for Canada to invest in making the vision of the International Education Strategy become a reality. As partners in education and business, we’re on board.

Paul Davidson is president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Perrin Beatty is president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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Media release - September 9, 2014

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Canada today boosted its research and higher education ties with Mexico as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada renewed its memorandum of understanding with its counterpart organization in Mexico, the National Association of Universities and Institutions (ANUIES).

Dr. Martha Navarro, Dr. Enrique Fernández Fassnacht and Christine Tausig-Ford at Mexico Mission signing ceremony.

Dr. Martha Navarro, deputy director general for Academic and Scientific Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mexico; Dr. Enrique Fernández Fassnacht, executive director General, ANUIES; Christine Tausig Ford, vice-president, AUCC.

The five-year agreement aims to broaden Canada-Mexico cooperation in higher education in areas of information exchange, joint events, policy dialogue around internationalization and the promotion of two-way student mobility. AUCC and ANUIES have worked together since 2005.

Canada’s universities have long been committed to working with Mexican universities to advance our mutual research and innovation agendas,” said AUCC vice-president, Christine Tausig Ford, who was in Mexico for the signing. “The announcements and agreements made today by AUCC and Canadian universities are a clear signal that our universities put a priority on building education, research and innovation links.”

A delegation of Canadian universities is in Mexico September 8 to 12 to reinforce existing research and institutional partnerships and bolster student mobility between the two countries. Led by AUCC and organized with strong support from the Canadian Embassy in Mexico, the delegation consists of presidents and senior representatives from 14 universities, as well as representatives from Mitacs, a Canadian organization that provides research internships and fellowships to university students, and Languages Canada.

Mexico is a priority country in Canada’s International Education Strategy and Global Markets Action Plan. That means Canada is using trade policy tools, including building on international education linkages, to enhance our commercial interests.

Participating delegates from the University of Regina, Lakehead University, Université du Québec à Montréal and Mitacsalso announced new or renewed agreements with Mexican partners. The announcements include the launch of programs and scholarships to promote two-way mobility of Canadian and Mexican students for the purpose of academic exchange, language study, collaborative research, industry internships and strengthening linkages between our countries’ aboriginal and indigenous populations.

AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.

ANUIES is the national and international voice of Mexican universities, representing 180 higher education institutions.

Media contacts:

Helen Murphy
Assistant director, communications
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 238

Nadine Robitaille
Communications officer
nrobitaille@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 306

News release in Spanish

Commentary - September 9, 2014

The following letter to the editor was published in the Globe and Mail, Tuesday September 9, 2014

Employment rates for university grads across Canada are well on their way to pre-recession levels. In 2013, the average unemployment rates in the 25-29 age bracket were: 4.2 percent for university grads, 7 percent for trade graduates, 5.2 percent for college grads, 8.2 for high school graduates.

The average income of grads with BA’s from Canadian universities was $79,000 in 2010 for ages 25-64, compared to $60,000 for apprentices, $56,000 for college grads, $46,000 for other trades.

For humanities grads, average income was $64,300 in 2010 (rising quickly from $42,000 for recent grads aged 25-29). Graduates of computer and information sciences and social sciences had average earnings of more than $80,000 a year. In business and engineering, average earnings were close to $90,000 and $100,000 respectively.

The data consistently reinforces the value of a university degree in today’s economy.

Paul Davidson, president, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Media release - September 8, 2014

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – A delegation of Canadian university leaders is in Mexico this week to bolster research and institutional partnerships and to encourage greater student mobility between the two countries.

From September 8 to 12, presidents and senior representatives from 14 universities will meet with institutional partners, government officials and Mexican and Canadian private sector stakeholders. Organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada with strong support from the Canadian Embassy in Mexico, the delegation includes representatives from Mitacs, a Canadian organization that provides research internships and fellowships to university students, and Languages Canada.

This mission builds on February’s North American Leaders’ Summit, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto agreed to boost academic exchange and student mobility within North America. During this meeting, Mexico committed to increase the number of students it sends to the U.S. each year by 100,000; targets for Canada have not yet been established.

“Canadian and Mexican universities have a lot in common,” says Christine Tausig Ford, vice-president of AUCC, who is leading the delegation. “This visit will strengthen our ties. We’ll be focusing on forging new research and innovation partnerships, and encouraging students to learn more about – and study in – each other’s countries. Stronger higher education links drive increased trade between our countries,” Tausig Ford adds.

During the visit, AUCC will solidify linkages by renewing an agreement with its counterpart organization in Mexico, the National Association of Universities and Institutions (ANUIES), which brings together 180 Mexican universities.

The agenda also includes meetings with senior Mexican government officials, Canadian and Mexican business leaders and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico. The delegation will have a significant presence at ANUIES 20th annual meeting for international education leaders at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas. Canada features prominently on the agenda, including a presidential discussion on Canada-Mexico Aboriginal higher education, and a number of sessions designed to enhance international partnerships.

Media invitation:
Members of the media are invited to attend the AUCC-ANUIES MOU signing event September 9, 4:00−4:30 p.m. at the Mexico Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (Plaza Juárez 20, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México) where Canadian university leaders will also make announcements on new programs and scholarships and sign new institutional agreements with Mexican partners.

Interview opportunities are available with Christine Tausig Ford, vice-president of AUCC, Brian Stevenson, president of Lakehead University, and Mike Mahon, president of the University of Lethbridge, as well as other members of the delegation.

AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.

Spanish version of media release

- 30 -

Media contacts:

Helen Murphy,
Assistant director, communications
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 238

Nadine Robitaille
Communications officer
nrobitaille@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 306

Media release - August 28, 2014

OTTAWA – Students, parents and guidance counsellors searching for the right university and degree program have a helpful new tool at their disposal with today’s launch of universitystudy.ca, an online resource about Canadian higher education. The searchable directory includes university profiles and AUCC’s popular study program database – a top-ranked site averaging 60,000 queries a month. Universitystudy.ca also features articles and tips for students planning their education and resources specifically for Aboriginal students.

“With this new website, AUCC is pleased to help students navigate the breadth of high-quality universities and programs offered across Canada,” says Paul Davidson, AUCC president. “More than one million students will be heading to campuses this fall and universities are committed to supporting their success, from selecting the right program to finding rewarding careers.”

Universitystudy.ca features more than 10,000 university study programs. With 30,000-plus visitors each month from outside of Canada, the new website will play an important role in international student recruitment.

AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities across the country.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Helen Murphy
Assistant Director of Communications
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 238 or cell: 613 608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
Communications Officer
nrobitaille@aucc.ca


( Total - 239 )