CICan Network Updates

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International Partnerships

December 2019 - February 2020

1. Canada’s New international Education Strategy

Outbound Student Mobility Pilot

Work continues on the development of the OSM Pilot Phase 2. CICan and Universities Canada (UC) are continuing their work with ESDC to clarify definitions, innovative practices and further program eligibility criteria that will be clearly identified in the release of the RFP and TORs which is scheduled for release in April 2020. Please note that we plan on issuing at least 2 additional RFPs, one in November 2020 and one in April 2021 (should there be uncommitted dollars, we will issue an additional RFP in 2022)

The April 2020 RFP and Terms of Reference (ToR) will contain specific information on definitions of “underrepresented” students, destination countries and innovation, as well as information on eligible expenses and funding levels. Institutions will be given 4 – 6 weeks to respond to the RFP and it is eagerly anticipated that members will be able to send students abroad as early as Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 in order to maximize the budget allocation for 2020-2021.

To help you start to prepare for the RFP release, we want to share with you that the proposals will need to include the following information:

  • A projection of the demographics of the student population you anticipate sending abroad (including indigenous, low-income and students with disabilities);
  • Describe the study/work abroad initiative and how it aligns/will contribute to the achievement of identified project objectives (e.g., including reaching underrepresented students, diversification of countries) and the anticipated type of experiences to be supported;
  • Demonstrate how the initiative builds-on and leverages existing outbound mobility programming at your institution;
  • Describe the types of wrap-around supports the institution will provide in order to encourage underrepresented students to participate;
  • Describe how the institution will promote the initiative and encourage student-take-up;
  • Describe how the institution will use needs and character-based selection criteria to select students (e.g., students who demonstrate a high desire to learn) and determine grant amounts;
  • Describe how the students have Increased the skills and intercultural competencies of such that they are better equipped to meet the needs of employers and succeed in a changing job market in Canada.

For those who would like to see more feedback on the regional consultations that took place in October 2019 please go to  Outbound Student Mobility Consultations  

If you are attending the APAIE Conference in Vancouver in March, be sure to visit us at booth #1406.

For more information please contact Darrin Caron.

2. Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada

Student Direct Stream

IRCC officials responsible for SDS have noted that a  commitment has been made to prioritize expansion to markets identified in the new International Education Strategy  Counties identified include Brazil, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey,  Ukraine and Vietnam.

CICan was advised that further expansion will not occur this year. The focus later in 2020 will be on program evaluation and the decision to hold consultations with stakeholders vis a vis potential changes to evaluation criteria.

IRCC officials have confirmed that SDS uptake in Morocco and Senegal has been low to date. This highlights the need for standardized approaches and the need for improved promotion. SDS uptake has been higher in Pakistan but less than what many were expecting.

Having said this, CICan priorities remain the same:

  • Expansion to Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico) and Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia)
  • a more flexible approach to language requirements (EAP programs at public institutions be eligible),
  • Acceptance of GIC as sufficient proof of financial means through regular stream,
  • Requirement of tuition payment (at least one semester) upfront.

Nigeria Student Express Program

CICan continues to advocate for the development of more supportive approaches to study permit processing in Nigeria. The recent ‘soft launch’ of the Nigeria Student Express pilot is an interesting development, but it is not without raising concerns. Based on information distributed at the EduCanada Events in Abuja and Lagos (January 2020) the criteria are largely the same as SDS (20-day processing) with some notable differences:

  • Institutional Eligibility: Have an acceptance letter from a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution for a BA, Masters, PhD or post-graduate diploma
  • Financial Requirements: Have a MyBank certificate showing sufficient funds for your studies (the equivalent of CAD$30,000) for at least six months PLUS 12 months of banking history.

These criteria are problematic for obvious reasons. Undergraduate diplomas are excluded, there is no requirement for tuition payment and no mechanism to ensure that the student will have access to funds once in Canada. CICan is following up with IRCC HQ and at mission to get more information as there is currently very little information online. At this juncture, CICan is aware that this was a local initiative and that IRCC HQ was not fully consulted.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.

3. Partnerships Development: Program Proposal Pipeline

Senegal – One thousand Women project

As announced during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to Senegal, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) will play a key role in implementing the initiative, Mille femmes: Je suis femme, j’existe, je participe (One Thousand Women: I am woman, I exist, I participate – FEP), which will facilitate access to professional and technical training for Senegalese women.

FEP is being implemented in partnership with Senegal’s Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training, and Crafts (MEFPA). The project will be deployed nationally and aims to reach women at all levels of training who are active in the informal economy and beyond, in trades and other industries. It will also support three Action Areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

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

CICan signed a funding agreement with the Mastercard Foundation to implement the TVET component of their Young Africa Works-Kenya initiative in January 2020. The Young Africa Works-Kenya TVET Program (YAW-K-TVET) will strengthen the quality of Kenyan TVET institutions and systems by developing 26 Centers of Excellence (COEs) as model institutions. YAW-K-TVET will increase the participation of young Kenyans, particularly women, in market-relevant skills training programs to increase the number of youths transitioning to dignified and fulfilling work. The program will run from 2020-2025 and will offer many new and innovative opportunities for our members including EFE style institutional and thematic partnerships.

YAW-K-TVET is currently being staffed up with openings for various positions in the CICan Ottawa and Nairobi offices. CICan is pleased to announce Catherine Paquin is our new Manager of Operations and Alina Scutaru as the Senior Program Officer, both for YAW-K-TVET. CICan is also pleased that Moritz Schmidt has accepted the position of Canada-based Senior Technical Advisor supporting all Kenya-based programs.

For more information please contact Susan Sproule.

4. Update on recent activities

Marketing and Recruitment Mission to Senegal & Morocco

CICan participated in the EduCanada fairs in Senegal in January and, on the margins, organized a networking activity for participating members and select education agents. Despite very few applications through the SDS program to date, CICan noted a growing interest in Canada, including education options at the college level and in English – though the vast majority of prospective students aim to study in French. Following this, on January 27, CICan organized, in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy in Morocco, and in the company of six member institutions, a full day of partnership development and recruitment activities in Casablanca including a networking sessions with Moroccan institutions, members of la Fédération Marocaine de l’Enseignement professionnel privé (FMEP), B2B meetings with select education agents, a mini-recruitment fair and a close door briefing session with the visa office. In addition, CICan met with representatives of the Office de la formation professional et de la promotion du travail (OFPPT), the main government body responsible for the delivery of technical and professional training in Morocco.

Interest in Canada and our member institutions is high both from a recruitment and partnership perspective. Study permit outcomes thorough the SDS program are high, despite a small sample size, and agents reported that students are increasingly turning to Canada (over France). Moroccan institutions demonstrated an interest in mobility partnerships, curriculum licensing, and the establishment of offshore programs. Generally, from the Moroccan perspective, the following sectors are of interest: agriculture, renewable energies, health, information technology, aeronautics, and marine technology

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne.

5. Current Education for Employment (EFE) Program Updates

CARICOM - Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE)

SAGE has been officially launched in St. Lucia. Susan Sproule was joined for the program inauguration by Benoit-Pierre Laramee, Minister Counsellor (Development) High Commission  of Canada to Barbados and the OECS,  Barrymore Felicien, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives and Philmore McCarthy, Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions (ACTI) and 50 representatives from Caribbean institutions and Canadian institutions.

A three-day orientation session followed the program launch and provided an opportunity for all participants to develop a shared understanding of the SAGE program.

The SAGE team now includes the Senior Technical Advisor (STA), Patricia Bidart, and Administrative Assistant in St. Lucia. We also have a team in Jamaica which includes the Gender Specialist, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, the Apprenticeship Technical Advisor and Country Support Coordinator.  We have a team of Country Support Coordinators in each of the SAGE countries who have been hired to support our Caribbean and Canadian partners. SAGE also has a strong team of two SPO’s, a PO in Ottawa along with support from our CICan Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist and a Gender Advisor.

For more information please contact Susan Sproule.

Kenya – Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP)

KEFEP has received approval from Global Affairs Canada for a one-year extension to March 31, 2022. This will ensure KEFEP partnerships are able to complete course delivery which was affected by initial procurement delays.  KEFEP procurement is now proceeding well.  Equipment is in the process of being shipped and installed and will be finalized early this spring.

For more information please contact Tom Tunney

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

The SITVES selection committee met in January to finalize the selection of 11 Kenyan TVET institutions to access small grant funds. This includes: four institutions were selected to develop applied research and innovation hubs; three institutions will implement Gender Equality in TVET-related research initiatives and four institutions will implement action research in TVET initiatives. Grant activities will start in March. George Brown College will provide technical support to the four institutions awarded small grants to develop applied research and innovation hubs on campus.

For more information please contact Tom Tunney

Tanzania – Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP)

ISTEP recently completed its final round of consultations with Tanzania partners to update and confirm ISTEP results and the partners’ commitment to sustain these results beyond the closure of the program.  ISTEP officially completes its sixth and final year of implementation by March 31.

For more information please contact Tom Tunney

Pacific Alliance: Education for Employment Program

The PA-EFE Program is pleased to announce the conclusion of its Call for Proposal process for partnerships and technical assistance projects. In total, 20 CICan members will collaborate with PA-EFE partners to implement 14 projects. The PA-EFE team would, therefore, like to congratulate and welcome the following CICan members who have were selected before the holidays:

  • Fanshawe College and Northern Lights College (NLC) – Partnership B.11 Mexico, for improving educational success of learners and employability support services.
  • Durham College, Fanshawe College and Vancouver Island University – Technical assistance A.08, for developing and implementing national promotion campaigns on the new training programs and employment opportunities in the extractive sectors of the 4 PA countries, with particular emphasis placed on prioritizing the recruitment of women.

The PA-EFE Program’s third thematic forum on Technical and Vocational Education Training in the Extractive Sector, will take place in June in Lima. An institutional partnership gathering will also be organized the day after the Forum.  Further details about these events will be shared soon.  For more information please consult the third edition of our Newsletter

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

Senegal – ESP-EPE

As part of the Private Sector Growth – Education for Employment project (PSG-EFE), a few short videos/capsules were produced on the impact of the project and Canada’s contribution to development on the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project, the development of vocational and technical training in the partner institutions in Senegal, and increasing the visibility of CICan and the members participating in the program. In the final year of the program, the final Leadership Institute was successfully delivered to 20 managers and directors of the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment (MEFPA) to develop their leadership skills. The program’s final forum was held in Senegal in February with 100+ participants. This forum highlighted the impressive work that has been accomplished by our member institutions, the Schools of Higher Technology (ÉTS) and other key stakeholders.

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.


Three consortia of CICan member institutions won the first calls for proposals for the EFE Tunisia Al-Najah program for institutional partnerships with ISETs in Béja, Kef and Kébali for co-constructed licensing programs based on the Competency-Based Approach in Agricultural Machinery Maintenance and Ecotourism, short-term training programs, technical and pedagogical training of teachers, entrepreneurship and institute/enterprise partnerships. A second call for proposals for institutional partnerships in renewable energy and food processing in  Sidi Bouzid, Tozeur and Médenine in Tunisia has been launched. Winning institutions will be announced in early March. Inception missions will take place  March-April. There will be two further calls for proposals for partnerships in April. Stay tuned to not miss this opportunity to work with our partners in Tunisia.

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin.

6. Upcoming Events, Missions, Training and Partnership Opportunities

CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in International (Offered in English)

This Leadership Institute to be held in Toronto on June 20-24th is designed for those in the role of manager or director, current or newly appointed, in international offices and divisions who seek leadership development for their current position, and who are interested in learning how to better lead their department and institution in international initiatives. This year’s faculty members are Lane Trotter, President, Langara College, Virginia Macchiavello, Executive Director, International Education, Centennial College and Alain Roy, VP, International Partnerships, CICan.

Marketing and Recruitment Mission to Brazil

In September 2019, CICan worked with a service provider (Bonard) and in collaboration with the Embassy in Bogota (Trade and Immigration) to organize two days of B2B meetings between members (14) and pre-screened education agents (30) from Colombia (25), Peru (2), Ecuador (2), and Panama (1) in Bogota. Members reported a high degree of overall satisfaction. A similar mission is being organized to Brazil in the fall of 2020. It can accommodate up to 20 CICan members and will provide opportunities to network with select education agents from tier-two cities.

APAIE 2020

For interested members attending the APAIE conference in Vancouver in March, Capilano University will be hosting an afternoon event on March 26 titled “The Canada-Taiwan Academic Summit”. The Taipei Economic and Trade Office and by FICHET, the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education in Taiwan will be co-hosting the session.

Many university Presidents and Heads of International from Taiwan’s universities and polytechnics will be in attendance. Subject matter will concern partnerships, student and faculty mobility, research and other opportunities for enhanced collaboration. To register for the event, please fill out this form in full.

Capacity Building for Engaging in International Development Cooperation, Vancouver, March 27th, 2020

As mentioned in the November 29th, 2019 International Update, CICan is offering training to colleges that have expressed interest in participating in Education for Employment projects over the past five years but did not manage to secure a contract. CICan will take advantage of its presence at the APAIE conference to provide training to three B.C. colleges in a face-to-face session in late March. Similar sessions are planned for colleges in Quebec, Alberta, and Saskatchewan beginning in mid-March.

For more information please contact Camille Khoury.

CICan Annual Conference – Go Global Stream

We are pleased to share a brief update on the plans for CICan’s Connection Conference – Collective Intelligence being hosted in Montreal, May 3 – 5. Expanding global intelligence and international strategy will be the focus of this stream. Sessions will cover the full range of international activities undertaken by colleges and institutes, including international student recruitment, TVET development and gender equality abroad, and inbound and outbound student mobility activities.

We have invited Minister Dame Diop, Minister for Employment, Professional Training and Trades (MEFPA) and Canada’s Minister for International Cooperation, Karina Gould to speak to the event as we host delegates from across the globe. In addition, we will have representation from 9 Trade Commissioners who can schedule one-on-one time to answer all your questions.

The Going Global Stream will offer a thought forum focused on outbound student mobility and session stream will offer a variety of topics ranging from; Former des étudiants sur le monde et sur la diversité sans voyager : des idées pour internationaliser nos formations collégiales, to International Student Experience Enhancement, to Remote and Connected: tips for establishing, engaging and managing your remote international recruitment teams.

We look forward to seeing you at the Conference. For more information or to register, please go to