CICan Network Updates

Main Content

International Partnerships

May 2019 - September 2019

1. Canada’s New international Education Strategy

The Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr, recently announced significant new investments in international education. Building on Success: International Education Strategy 2019-2024, will support outbound mobility, diversification of countries from which international students come to Canada and Canadian education institutions looking for new opportunities abroad.

Here are some of the highlights of the new strategy:

  • Global Affairs Canada will receive $34 million over the next five years as well as an additional $6.4 million following the first five years. Monies will be used to develop targeted digital marketing strategies to attract students from a wider diversity of countries to a broader range of education institutions. CICan will work with Global Affairs Canada to ensure that trade commissioners receive training to better understand the value of our member institutions and that new marketing strategies support diversification. Identified priority markets are in line with recent CICan research . Although CICan notes the absence of African markets in the strategy, the strategy notes that priorities will be adjusted over time.
  • IRCC will receive $20 million over the next five years as well as $1.5 million following the first five years to revamp immigration processes, expand the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program and further promote the International Experience Canada (IEC) program to young Canadians. CICan expects that IRCC will consult with CICan and other stakeholders regarding SDS expansion and criteria in the near future.
  • ESDC will receive $95 million to implement an Outbound Student Mobility Pilot to enhance study and work abroad opportunities for students at public post-secondary institutions. CICan and Universities Canada are pleased to be entrusted with joint implementation. CICan will consult with members and stakeholders to ensure that program guidelines are flexible and support a variety of study and work-integrated learning opportunities abroad.

CICan is pleased with this new strategy and sees many opportunities for our members. The new investments in outbound mobility reflect many years of advocacy by CICan and other national associations. Other elements of the strategy respond to immediate operational needs related to diversification and issues related to the processing of study permits. The explicit focus on pathways to permanent residency is significant, further positioning our members as institutions of choice. Greater support from the Trade Commissioner Service will also enhance opportunities for partnerships, contract training and service exports abroad.

We will keep you informed of further developments and opportunities to become more engaged. As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback. For more information, please consult the Government of Canada’s website detailing the Strategy. An executive summary is also available.

For more information please contact Alain Roy.

2. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Student Direct Stream

Since January 2018, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has collaborated with Canadian financial institutions to assess their capacity to deliver GIC products across various markets. Over this period, CICan has continued to lobby both IRCC and Canadian financial institutions for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) to be expanded to markets in Africa, especially francophone markets, and Latin America while highlighting that the program would also be effective across South Asia. We are therefore pleased to note that, on July 26, IRCC announced that SDS would be available to legal residents currently in Pakistan and subsequently, on August 30, that the program would extend to legal residents currently in Senegal and Morocco.

Considering a new International Education Strategy investment of $1 million over 5 years and $100,000 for the expansion of SDS, we expect that additional markets will continue to come online. CICan has, however, been assured that there will not be any changes to SDS criteria without consultation with CICan, our members and stakeholders. We will continue to follow these developments and provide updates.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.


With the expansion of biometric requirements to all nationalities (with the exception of American nationals) having made it more difficult and costly for students outside of urban areas to access study permits, CICan has been advocating for a more flexible approach to biometric collection, including the deployment of mobile Visa Application Centers. Earlier this year IRCC conducted a pilot project in the Caribbean and South Pacific, offering specific times for applicants to provide their biometrics on islands where there is no Visa Application Center. As a result, IRCC has determined that additional biometric collection capacity is required in the Caribbean.

CICan will continue to lobby for additional resources for biometric collection capacity for students in rural and remote areas including, for example, Réunion Island and Mexico where there is currently only one Visa Application Centre.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.

Outreach officers

IRCC Outreach Officers, located across Canada, are available to host sessions on international student programs, post-graduate work permit processes, pathways to permanent residency, etc. Should you be interested in hosting such sessions for your students, please contact

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.

3. Partnerships Development

Kenya - MasterCard Foundation – Young Africa Works TVET Kenya Program (YAW-K-TVET)

CICan is in the final stages of discussion with MasterCard Foundation for a five-year program in Kenya. CICan expects contract signing to take place shortly. YAW-K-TVET aims to strengthen the quality of TVET institutions and systems across Kenya. This will be accomplished by the development of 25 Centres of Excellence (COEs) as model institutions that will increase the participation of young Kenyans, particularly women, in market-relevant skills training programs to ultimately increase the number of youth transitioning to dignified and fulfilling work.  The program will involve a significant number of both EFE-style institutional partnerships and thematic partnerships between Kenyan institution and CICan member institutions.

For more information please contact Thomas Tunney.

Senegal - Yoonū liguèy : En route vers l’emploi / le chemin vers l’emploi

CICan submitted a proposal to the MasterCard Foundation for a five-year project. We expect approval over the next few months. The Yoonū  liguèy : En route vers l’emploi / le chemin vers l’emploi Project will contribute to the socio-economic development of Senegal by improving the quality, access and relevance of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training system, with a view to improving the employability of young Senegalese men and women. Through support to the Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training and Apprenticeship (MEFPA), CICan and its members will partner with four teacher training institutions and 33 public and private TVET schools throughout Senegal, which will help strengthen the system while empowering individual training institutions and ensuring sustainability.

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

Mozambique, Uganda, Somalia

Global Affairs Canada Call for Proposals: Dismantling Barriers and Improving the Quality of Education for Women and Girls in Fragile, Conflict and Crisis Situations. As noted in CICan’s January International Update, CICan submitted a joint proposal in February 2019 with a Canadian NGO to respond to a December 2018 Global Affairs Canada Call for Proposals entitled: Dismantling Barriers and Improving the Quality of Education for Women and Girls in Fragile, Conflict and Crisis Situations. CICan was informed by GAC in July 2019 that its proposal was not selected for funding.

For more information please contact Camille Khoury.

4. Update on recent activities


As part of a GOA application to explore the potential of a Canada/China TVET Centre of Excellence in Elder Care, CICan staff member Xin Qin and Dianne Diniz, former Dean of Health Sciences, presented at a recent Canada-China Senior Care Cooperation Forum hosted by Global Affairs Canada. The purpose of these presentations was to introduce the Canadian model for integrated elder care education. Prior to the start of the 8th Forum on the Development of Chinese Senior Service Industry, Xin and Dianne met with the Suzhou Municipal Committee on Aging, Nursing School of Suzhou University and the Suzhou Ruiyi Senior Housing Development & Senior Services Co. to discuss elder care concerns. While in Beijing, they met with the China Hi-Tech headquarter leaders to discuss potential opportunities for collaboration with CICan and members.

For more information please contact Darrin Caron.

Brazil - CAPES

Activities stemming from the cooperation agreement signed with the  Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES)

In May, CICan hosted thirty-one (31) award-winning Brazilian teachers who were recognized for their dedication and the quality of their teaching in Brazil.   During their week-long visit to Ottawa, the teachers became familiar with the Canadian education system and visited elementary, middle and high schools as well as La Cité.

CICan, through its members (Fanshawe College and Niagara College), hosted one hundred (100) Brazilian teachers in July and August for an 8-week training.  The teachers from the elementary, secondary and technical levels completed two (2) weeks of English as a second language followed by six (6) weeks of professional development delivered in Portuguese. Topics such as the Canadian education system, classroom management, and the inclusive classroom were among the subjects that were discussed.

Two (2) CAPES representatives will be coming to Canada in October to follow up on these initiatives and discuss with CICan about the next group of teachers coming to Canada next year.

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

5. Current Education for Employment (EFE) Program Updates

Caribbean - Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE)

CICan is pleased to let you know that our Senior Technical Advisor (STA), Ms. Pat Bidart, is now with SAGE full-time and based in St. Lucia. Please feel free to contact Pat with any questions about the SAGE program (

Our Caribbean institutions are now preparing their Terms of Reference (TORs) for our Canadian college/institute partnerships. CICan calls for proposals will be published September 10.

For more information please contact Susan Sproule.

Kenya - Supporting Innovation in the Technical and Vocational Education Sector: Towards Productivity and Competitiveness (SITVES)

SITVES is a new CICan program that is being implemented by CICan in collaboration with two Kenyan partner organizations. These are the Linking Industry with Academia Programme Trust (LIWA) and the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI). This $1M project, funded by IDRC, will be implemented from 2019-2022.

SITVES will contribute to Kenya’s development agenda through innovation and research with a focus on women and girls. In addition, SITVES will contribute to the socio-economic transformation of Kenyan counties.  SITVES will soon be requiring the services of selected CICan members to support the delivery of planned outcomes and outputs under SITVES Pillar 1: Innovation and Applied Research Hubs. This will include the development of a toolkit and workshops on how to establish innovation and applied research hubs at up to four Kenyan vocational education and/or training institutions. Terms of Reference (TORs) and a call for proposals were launched recently.

For more information please contact Thomas Tunney.

Pacific Alliance: Indigenous Communities, Education for Employment and the relationship with the Extractive Sector Forum

The PA-EFE Program’s second thematic forum will take place November 4-6, 2019 at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in conjunction with CICan’s annual Indigenous Education Symposium. The theme of this year’s Symposium is TAPWEWIN (which means the truth in Cree) and ReconciliACTION, and it will bring together more than 150 college and institute leaders from across Canada serving Indigenous peoples. The event will be unique this year, giving participants the opportunity to learn, exchange innovative practices and share knowledge about Indigenous Education, with leaders not only from across Canada but across Latin America as well

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

Tunisia: EPE Al-Najah

Global Affairs Canada recently approved CICan’s implementation plan and work plan in late July. The project will be launched in Tunisia at the end of September 2019. The terms of reference will be developed in the coming weeks and we hope to launch the calls for proposals to the network by the end of autumn. The information on the TdRs will be disclosed via our network.

In addition, I am pleased to inform that Paola Ortiz joins our team as a project officer for EFE-Tunisia and will also help with projects in Senegal. Welcome Paola.

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

6. Upcoming Events, Missions and Training Opportunities

Manila - Marketing and Recruitment Mission, February-March 2020

In March 2019, CICan organized, in collaboration with Edu-Canada and the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines, a CICan Edu-Canada Fair. The event was a great success, involving 28 CICan members, thousands of prospective students, and opportunities to connect with potential partners and education agents. We are pleased to inform you a second event will take place in 2020 and is currently planned for the weekend of February 28, immediately prior to the CEI-Vietnam Spring Fairs. Registration details will be available in September

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.

Webinar - Research on Emerging Markets

In May 2019, at its annual conference in Niagara Falls, CICan released a research report: Emerging Markets for International Student Recruitment to Canadian Colleges and Institutes [EN|FR]. Building on this report, CICan is organizing a series of webinars in collaboration with ICEF that will be delivered in fall and spring of 2019-2020. These webinars will focus on providing updated data and insights on key recruitment regions, i.e. Latin America and Africa, and focus on specific topics of interest. A first webinar, Working with Education Agents, will be delivered in French on Thursday, Oct 9, followed by a second webinar, International Recruitment Trends and Developments in Africa, will be delivered in English on Wednesday, Nov 27. Details on how to register will be shared separately.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.

CICan Institute for Leaders in International (in French) (November 25-29 2019)

This Leadership Institute is designed for those in the roles of director or manager, current or newly appointed, in international offices and divisions who seek leadership development for their current position and/or who are interested in learning how to better lead their department and institution in international initiatives.

For more information please contact Alain Roy.

7. Appointments to CICan’s International Advisory Committee

CICan is pleased to announce the appointment of new members of the CICan International Advisory Committee (IAC). They include Ernest Mulvey, Director, International Education, Algonquin College, (Ontario); Nancy Thornton, Director, NorQuest International, Norquest College, who will represent institutions in areas north of the 50th parallel, Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories; and Derek Lemieux, Director International Education Bow Valley College, (Alberta).

CICan would like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing members of the CICan IAC committee for their important contributions in helping guide CICan’s international activities over the last several years. The outgoing members include David Ross, President, SAIT, Mark Butler, BVC and SAIT, Sean Coote, Niagara College and Meghan McInnie, Olds College.