The Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy wrapped up last week, tabling a 98-page report International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity. In it, the Panel sets out its vision for the Canadian education system (“to attract top talent and prepare our citizens for the global marketplace, thereby providing key building blocks for our future prosperity”) and makes 14 policy recommendations to enhance the knowledge-driven economy:
- Double the number of full-time international students, from 239,131 in 2011 to more than 450,000 by 2022.
- Consider co-funding a student mobility program to create opportunities for 50,000 Canadian students per year to go abroad by 2022.
- Make internationalising education a strategic component of government policies and plans, with the Prime Minister a key champion.
- Create a Council on International Education and Research (CIER), representative of all the sectors of education and regions of Canada.
- Put mechanisms in place to maintain and enhance the quality of the education systems and ensure their sustainability.
- Focus promotional activities on the markets reckoned to have the greatest potential for growth: China, India, Brazil, the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico. Mature markets such as the UK should receive resources to maintain current activities.
- Increase promotional marketing of Canada as an education destination.
- Develop an online portal for international students interested in studying in Canada.
- Provide co-funding for 8,000 new scholarships for top international undergraduate students to study in Canada.
- Coordinate grants and scholarships available to international graduate students and post-doctoral fellows under one label/brand.
- Develop bilateral agreements with priority countries that focus on all aspects of graduate education and research.
- Improve education visa processing to provide consistent and timely processing of high-quality candidates.
- Expand and facilitate comprehensive training for staff at Canadian embassies and offices abroad on Canada’s education offerings and study pathways.
- Support the expansion and promotion of the Canadian Experience Class programme to contribute to Canada’s skilled immigrant and labour market needs.
SIN does some work on postgraduate/postdoctoral exchange programmes and agreements, and the British Council works on all aspects of international education. We’ll report again on any movements that are of relevance to the UK.