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April 18, 2016

This Earth Day, Colleges and institutes are leading the way to a greener Canada

Environmental sustainability has become the hottest topic in matters as broad as technology, industry, and the economy. On April 22, as the world celebrates Earth Day, we celebrate all of the innovative achievements that Canada’s colleges and institutes have made in this area, and those still to come.

As centers of innovation, Canada’s colleges and institutes are actively addressing environmental challenges by building state of the art facilities that minimize their environmental footprint and foster the development of green technologies. Thanks to ambitious sustainability plans, many have become leaders in environmental action, while providing training programs that produce graduates who are environmentally aware and able to tackle pressing sustainability concerns.

British Colombia’s Okanagan College is most definitely among the leaders in this area and was recently recognized for hosting the most sustainable post-secondary facility in Canada. Corporate Knights’ 2016 Green Building Review awarded the college’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence a gold prize for sustainability in the university and college buildings category. The review board highlighted the facility’s windows and floors, which are designed to maximize heating and cooling, the building’s exposed mechanical and electrical structure, and its solar chimneys that expel warm air from the building.

With the recent announcement of a $2-billion investment in post-secondary infrastructure over the next three years, more sustainable facilities can be expected. The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund aims to modernize facilities on campuses with an emphasis on improving environmental sustainability.

Inside these facilities, students have the opportunity to learn about environmental issues with programs like the Master of Science in Ecological Restoration at BCIT, and the International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA) Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) Credential Program offered at Algonquin College, which instruct students and professionals on sustainable best practices.

Colleges and institutes are also conducting ground-breaking research such as Cégep de l’Abitibi-Temiscaminque’s project on the rehabilitation of contaminated mining sites or Nova Scotia Community College’s work on the use of microalgae to produce biofuel.

Other colleges across Canada have taken an operational approach to green initiatives in implementing sustainability plans to become leaders in climate action. Fleming College’s Sustainability Plan aims to increase awareness and understanding of sustainability, reduce the environmental impacts of Fleming operations, and increase collaboration on sustainability initiatives. Conestoga College has also committed to their Environmental Management Plan that will reduce the college’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and waste production by 2019.

Additionally, within the province of Quebec, 20 CICan member establishments are currently certified under the Green Cégep of Quebec (CVQ) Certification – a program which recognizes colleges and cégeps that have taken steps towards sustainability, including creating an environmental policy and action plan, providing environment-related education, and putting into place energy efficiency measures, among others. Certified member establishments include Cégep Garneau, Cégep de Jonquière, Collège Montmorency, Collège de Maisonneuve, and Collège LaSalle.

These are only a few examples, but all across the country, colleges and institutes are leading their communities towards more sustainable practices through knowledge and innovation.

Calling all members!


CICan encourages all its members to take part in Science Odyssey – ten days of discovery and innovation organized by the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) between May 6th and 15th, 2016 – during which hundreds of events will be taking place all across Canada.

Astronaut Julie Payette will be the official spokesperson for this national event that aims to celebrate science and create public awareness of Canadian achievements in science and technology. It will be a great opportunity for colleges and institutes to promote their contributions to Canadian innovation by showcasing their research activities to further engage and attract their target audience to their local events.

With a particular emphasis on Canadian youth, Science Odyssey will include events like science-to-the-streets celebrations, lab visits, science fairs, talks and conferences, school field trips, online activities, and much more. Colleges and institutes across the country can take part by organizing local events and submitting them to Science Odyssey using the online submission form.

To facilitate cross-promotion of activities, Science Odyssey has developed marketing materials that are available for download by partners and participants.

Young leaders to gather in Ottawa for the One Young World Summit

CICan president and CEO, Denise Amyot, along with Cheryl Jensen, President of Algonquin College and Lise Bourgeois, President of La Cite, recently met with Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, who requested the assistance of CICan members in ensuring the success of the upcoming One Young World Summit. Ottawa will host the summit from September 28 to October 1, 2016, gathering 1,500 delegates, aged 18 to 30, from 196 countries.

This premier global young leaders’ summit draws together leading young entrepreneurs, business people, humanitarians and creators to debate, formulate and share innovative solutions to pressing global issues.

Highlights of the 2015 Summit can be seen here ​​

CICan encourages each college and institute to sponsor one or more students to attend so that we can showcase the best and brightest young Canadian students.

For additional information and to confirm the sponsorship of a student for the Ottawa Summit, please contact Margaret McLaren at by June 30th.

CICan signs MOU with Beijing City University


A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Beijing City University (BCU) and CICan was signed on April 4, 2016 at CICan’s office in Ottawa. The MOU broadly defines areas of cooperation between the two organizations that include, but are not limited to: Articulated or Joint Programs; Institutional Development; Support for economic and social development; and Canadian Student Mobility.

The BCU delegation also visited a number of CICan member institutions, including Seneca College, Humber College, and Algonquin College in Ontario and Langara College and Vancouver Island University in the province of British Columbia.

BCU, founded in 1984, is a comprehensive university approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education. It offers over 100 programs in the disciplines of Science, Engineering, Arts, Law, Finance, Economics, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, and Management among other subjects. It has over 20,000 full-time students and 1,800 teaching and administrative staff.

WFCP announces the program for its 2016 World Conference


The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) has announced the program for its 2016 World Conference, which will take place in Vitória, Brazil, September 23-25. Under the theme “The Role of Professional Education in the 21st Century” the congress will gather experts and leaders from post-secondary institutions around the world.

Registration for the Congress will begin on April 29, 2016. Register before May 13 to take advantage of Early Bird pricing. Click here to see the rates for this year’s Congress, including the special rate for groups.

 Those who wish to make a presentation at the conference have until April 29 to make a submission. This can be done online on the conference website.

The WFCP will also be accepting nominations for its Awards of excellence until May 31, 2016. The guidelines and application form are also available on the WFCP website.

The WFCP Congress will be followed by Reditec, the annual national event for leaders of Brazilian Federal Institutions, on September 26t and 27. Conif and IFES are pleased to welcome Congress delegates to Reditec.

Seneca College and the University of Central Asia reaffirm innovative partnership


Commemorated with a signing ceremony in Ottawa on Thursday, Seneca College and the University of Central Asia (UCA) reaffirmed a partnership that will see the two establishments build on a commitment to high quality, affordable higher education.

Speaking to Seneca’s excitement about the depth of collaboration, President David Agnew underlined a belief that “world class education is one that offers a global perspective while empowering students to create social change both locally and internationally.”

The two establishments began working together after signing a memorandum of understanding in 2015 with the goal of developing UCA’s Preparatory Programme, a one-year curriculum that will encourage students to develop the logical reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving skills required for success at the university level. The program will be offered to students starting in September 2016.

Seneca also designed a professional development program for UCA faculty that includes training in both Central Asia and in Canada, in-class assessments and long-term online resources.

President Agnew also announced Seneca’s support of 12 scholarships for students from Central Asia – four Entrance Scholarships, four annual Merit Scholarships, and four post-graduate tuition scholarships.

The innovative partnership was made possible by the financial support of Global Affairs Canada and Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC).

Eureka! Moment

Teachers of Anishnaabemowin (the Ojibwe language) from across Central Ontario gathered at Georgian College’s Barrie Campus Aboriginal Centre on Friday, April 15. The event called Moving Forward Together: Wiijigaabiwitaadidaa Niigaan Zhaayin focused on collaborative discussions, development of relationships, and the sharing of resources. The protection of Indigenous languages remains a challenge for communities across Canada, but we are thrilled to see Georgian College take the lead on such an important issue.


Bow Valley College has recently appointed two new vice presidents. Catherine Koch took on the role of Vice President, Learner Services & Chief Student Services Officer on April 1, 2016. Koch was most recently the Vice President, Academic at Keyano College.

David Mitchell also joined Bow Valley College on April 15, 2016, as Vice President, College Advancement & Chief External Relations Officer. Mitchell was most recently President & CEO of Canada’s Public Policy Forum.

Douglas College is looking forward to creating stronger community connections with the hiring of a new Director of Business Development. Catherine Williams stepped into this new position on April 11, bringing a wealth of experience in community partnership development.


CICan 2016 Conference

There is still time to register for CICan’s 2016 Conference taking place May 29-31 in Quebec City. The conference will focus on inspiration, which drives innovation, development and discoveries.

We look forward to welcoming you!


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