OTTAWA – Canada’s universities welcome the federal government’s launch of a renewed foreign policy and trade plan which highlights education and the promotion of Canada’s research and innovation advantage abroad among its top priorities.
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, announced the launch of the report entitled the Global Markets Action Plan: The Blueprint for Creating Jobs and Opportunities for Canadians Through Trade today in Ottawa.
Canada’s universities are pleased with the report’s identification of international education as a priority sector that will strengthen Canada’s trade, investment and people-to-people ties in priority markets. Canadian universities are recognized as world-class institutions that provide excellent education and research opportunities to Canadian and international students and are a key resource in attracting the world’s best and brightest to Canada. The Action Plan also highlighted the value of Canadian universities in fostering research linkages.
The university sector looks forward to the government’s forthcoming launch of an international education strategy to build Canada’s brand of excellence in education and research. Advisory panel recommendations to the government included doubling the number of international students coming to Canada, establishing a new mechanism for supporting international research collaboration at scale, and creating a new program to send 50,000 Canadian students abroad annually by 2022.
“International education is one of the few sectors to have grown constantly through the recession, to a value of $8 billion per year in communities large and small across the country,” said AUCC president, Paul Davidson. “The federal government clearly recognizes the benefits that international students bring to Canadian university campuses and their communities, and the economic and trade advantages they bring to the country as a whole.”
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.
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
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OTTAWA — A new Canadian-European initiative aims to raise awareness of the growing partnership opportunities for Canadian and European researchers and innovators. The ERA-Can Plus project will promote science, technology and innovation collaboration between Canada and the European Union through policy dialogues, research exchanges and information sharing about funding opportunities.
The initiative, launched in early October, begins just as the EU is set to start its Eighth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, also referred to as Horizon 2020, with an expected budget of more than €70 billion (CAD $92 billion) between 2014-2020. The signing of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement in the same month also underscores the important economic and research ties between Canada and the EU, and the role of science and technology for promoting innovation-based economic growth.
“Canada is a valued partner for the European Union in a wide range of cooperation areas and our partnership in research and innovation is particularly strong,” said European Union Ambassador Marie-Anne Coninsx. “ERA-Can Plus will further contribute to deepen the already existing strong ties. In particular, this joint initiative will be instrumental in facilitating enhanced cooperation in the new mutually agreed priority areas of arctic and marine research.”
ERA-Can Plus will raise awareness of the multiple research and innovation program opportunities for Canadians in Horizon 2020 and for Europeans in Canada’s research programs. The project will tackle societal challenges by helping bridge the gap between research and the market and will also enrich the Canada-EU policy dialogue by identifying research areas of mutual interest. It builds on two previous ERA-Can projects that have made significant inroads in expanding Canadian and European research collaboration and improving bilateral relations between Canada and the EU.
“Building on the recently announced agreement-in-principle on an historic Canada-European Union trade agreement, ERA-Can Plus is yet another bridge that will help us take our 21st century relationship to the next level,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. “Enhancing the science, technology and innovation collaboration between Canada and the European Union, key features of our landmark trade agreement, will contribute to new jobs and new opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“The ERA-CAN Plus project objectives and its Canadian and European partnership correspond to the new international cooperation strategy for research and innovation of the European Union,” said Maria Cristina Russo, Director in DG RTD for International Cooperation in the European Commission. “It will support the implementation of our policy dialogue for example as follow up of the Galway Statement signed by Canada and the EU.“
The consortium brings together seven leading associations and organizations for research, innovation and public policy discussions from across Canada and Europe. The Canadian partners are the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and the Public Policy Forum. The European partners are the Agenzia per la Promozione della Ricerca Europea in Italy, the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in France, the Project Management Agency at DLR in Germany, and the Zentrum für Soziale Innovation in Austria. The Italian partner will act as the coordinator for the project.
The project is largely funded by the European Commission.
For more information:
Martina de Sole
This op-ed was published in The Chronicle Herald on November 8, 2013
By Colin Dodds
International students account for one out of every 10 undergraduates studying at Canadian universities. Nova Scotia, often referred to as Canada’s education capital, has achieved significant success in attracting international and out-of-province students.
My own institution, Saint Mary’s University, has one of highest proportion of international students in the country. Nearly 30 percent of our 6,400 full-time students are from abroad creating a globalized campus with immense benefits for all students, faculty and the broader community.
Across the country, the educational experience of Canadian undergraduates is enriched by the presence of students from around the world. They bring new perspectives, cultures and languages to our campuses and communities. Together with study-abroad opportunities, this international exposure provides students the global awareness that many employers demand as they face the increasingly global competitive trade and investment landscape.
International students have an equally important impact off-campus. According to a 2012 federal government report, they generate approximately $8 billion in spending across Canada. To put it in perspective, that’s more than the value of our exports in wheat or softwood lumber. In Atlantic Canada, their total economic impact was estimated at about $565 million in 2009-2010. In Halifax, international students mean job creation and economic growth. It is important to note that the international student sector is expanding around the world – one of the few sectors that has seen growth during the recession.
Many of our international students join local business organizations and attend events organized by the Greater Halifax Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and Nova Scotia Business Inc. Some become Canadian citizens after graduation. In fact, a number of our international graduates now work in Canada’s information technology, banking and finance, media and education sectors. Others have started their own businesses in these sectors, generating much-needed new economic activity in our region.
More would love to stay in Nova Scotia, including in the more rural parts of the Province. So we need more internships and coop opportunities, particularly with the small/medium sized businesses for our students to gain the experience many employers require. Additionally, some international students have access to external capital sources that could lead to more opportunities for succession as the baby boomer entrepreneurs seek to sell their businesses. The final report of the Bragg-Ivany Commission on Our New Economy may have more to say on these important issues.
Last year I was a member of the federal government’s Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy and it proposed a vision for Canada “to become the 21st century leader in international education”, but not by compromising quality. It made 14 recommendations on how to develop and implement this. Among our recommendations, we called for increased study abroad opportunities for Canadian students and a doubling of international students by 2022 in what is now a very competitive recruitment marketplace. For example, more than 20% of students in Australia are international and countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and China are staking their claim to be centres of international education to compete with the traditional providers, such as the USA and UK.
As a member of the panel I engaged in cross-country consultations and was struck by how each region of Canada benefits from international students in its own way. In Atlantic Canada the reality of our ageing population and out-migration has brought us to a demographic precipice. To ensure the continued economic and social vitality of our region, the solution lies, in my opinion, in part with the contribution that international students make to our region and in our capacity to attract these students and help them achieve their potential.
Progress has been made – I applaud Budget 2013’s announcement of $13 million over two years to the Mitacs Globalink Program. The government program, which attracts highly promising students from around the world to Canadian universities for short-term research placements, will now allow Canadian students to take advantage of training opportunities in key countries abroad. The $42 million earmarked for temporary resident visas, which may have an impact on international students, and the $10 million allotted to marketing the Canada brand internationally are other steps in the right direction.
No one sector – universities, government or business – can on its own reach Canada’s potential in attracting top international students and helping them achieve their goals, including staying in Canada. But working together we can make it happen.
The more opportunities we create for our talented graduates, the more we are able to retain international students who have so much to offer to our region and to our country. In addition to those who stay and contribute to our economy domestically, many international students return to their home countries and act as ambassadors for Canada, helping to build important linkages in trade, investment, diplomacy and education.
Higher education is now the global currency and it’s very encouraging that students from around the world are increasingly choosing to study in Canada. It’s time to do more – as a community, a region and a country – to leverage these assets to build prosperity and strengthen our educational brand around the world.
Colin Dodds is president of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Over the coming weeks, universities across Canada will open their doors to their community and partners to showcase and celebrate campus-community engagement. Events range from downtown discussions with leading scholars to presentations on innovative partnerships and an open house in medicine and dentistry. More than 30 universities will be participating.
Media are invited to attend Open Doors, Open Knowledge events.
AUCC President Paul Davidson and university leaders / event coordinators are available for media interviews about Open Doors, Open Knowledge 2013.
To arrange an interview or for more information, please contact:
AUCC Communications Officer
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OTTAWA— Dr. David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba, begins a two-year term as chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada board of directors today in conjunction with the association’s fall membership meeting.
Dr. Barnard was named president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba in 2008. During his tenure, Dr. Barnard has established a long-term vision for the university that emphasizes enhancing its teaching and research strengths while pursuing new initiatives that ensure more resources are made available to enhance services to students, faculty and staff.
Dr. Barnard was previously President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. He also spent nearly 20 years at Queen’s University, serving as a professor of computing and information science and in a variety of senior administrative positions. From 2005-2008 he was COO of the software company iQmetrix.
In addition to his work with AUCC, Dr. Barnard has served and continues to serve on a number of national boards which have included the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Greystone Managed Investments, the Bank of Canada and the Canada West Foundation.
He holds a bachelor of science, master’s of science and a PhD from the University of Toronto, as well as a diploma in theological studies from Regent College at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Barnard’s past roles with AUCC include vice-chair of the board and chair of the finance committee.
“I am inspired by the capacity of our university communities and partners to do even more in the years ahead to build a better Canada,” says Dr. Barnard. “AUCC has a solid track record of advancing the university mission in Canada and I look forward to working with our members and staff to help Canadians achieve their aspirations for the future.”
“As a valued and active member of the AUCC board for many years, David has been instrumental in advancing our agenda of aboriginal inclusion, campus internationalization and the pursuit of research excellence,” says AUCC President Paul Davidson.
David Barnard succeeds outgoing AUCC chair Stephen Toope, president and vice-chancellor of The University of British Columbia, who has been chair since 2011.
AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 member institutions. Twelve university presidents serve on the board of directors, along with AUCC president Paul Davidson.
AUCC’s new board of directors:
*Signifies new appointments
David Barnard, University of Manitoba, chair
Stephen Toope, The University of British Columbia, past chair
Elizabeth Cannon, University of Calgary
Dominic Giroux, Laurentian University
Guy Breton*, Université de Montréal
Ramona Lumpkin, Mount Saint Vincent University
Patrick Deane, McMaster University
Colin Dodds, Saint Mary’s University
Michael Mahon, University of Lethbridge
Max Blouw, Wilfrid Laurier University
Luce Samoisette, Université de Sherbrooke
Eddy Campbell*, University of New Brunswick
Paul Davidson, president of AUCC
Paul Gooch, Victoria University (Ontario): Standing Advisory Committee on the Act and By-Laws
Daniel Woolf, Queen’s University: Standing Advisory Committee on International Relations
Ray Ivany, Acadia University: Standing Advisory Committee on Educational Issues and Funding
Elizabeth Cannon, University of Calgary: Standing Advisory Committee on University Research
Robert Campbell, Mount Allison University: AUCC Finance Committee
Assistant Director of Communications
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