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December 6, 2021

If you only read one thing this year, make it this!

We’re looking back at the biggest items of 2021 and what it means for the year ahead.

  1. Pandemic work life, skills, and the Great Resignation

The labour market will never be the same after COVID, and so, how we conceive of training and skills must follow suit. In the midst of what some have called the Great Resignation, workers are revaluating their priorities, and for many that means a change in employment.

Inevitably, skills are on the agenda: future skills, essential skills, Skills for Success, green skills, intercultural skills – What does it mean to be highly skilled in a market in near constant flux?

We’re betting on microcredentials and hybrid learning models as the emerging go-to methods for flexible and accessible upskilling. Our new national framework and guiding principles on the subject will help educators develop microcredentials that meet high quality standards. 

  1. Reconciliation and residential schools

As Canada’s colonial history and the legacy of residential schools makes headlines around the world, we need to ensure that truth and reconciliation efforts continue. The work to uncover all the Indigenous children lost to residential schools is just getting started.

Education remains vital to preserving and strengthening Indigenous communities now and in the future.

  • Formalize your commitment to Indigenous education: Over 65 member institutions have committed to making Indigenous education a priority, strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities, and supporting reconciliation through our Indigenous Education Protocol.
  • And don’t miss Perspectives LIVE: Indigenous rights are human rights!” Episode 3 airs December 15. Are our collective efforts at reconciliation just lip service? And where do human rights, Indigenous rights, and our recovery efforts intersect?
  1. Globalism, borders, and student mobility

Study and work abroad programs ensure students are culturally literate, resilient, adaptable, and ready to succeed in a global marketplace. But that becomes markedly more difficult when they can’t leave the country.

Immigrants are another important talent pool for Canada. If Canadians can expect to welcome over 400,000 new permanent residents in 2022, we need an audacious plan to ensure that those coming to start a new life in Canada have the resources and support they need to realize their aspirations. Our latest paper offers recommendations.

Border closures and travel continue to impact international students arriving in Canada, and we continue to work with government to ensure that the needs of international students are being heard. See all our updates related to international students arriving in Canada, post-graduation work permits, and study permit processing online.

  1. Climate, sustainability, and the race to net-zero

As devastating flooding and record amounts of rainfall continue on the west coast, we are seeing the very real effects of climate change. We need to get serious about reducing emissions, in a big way, now.

Watch: Are we moving the needle on climate change? Last month on Perspectives LIVE, we looked at the reality of climate change and the race to net-zero. Is it a race we can win? 

  1. Recovery, equity, and innovation

The latest OECD Economic Outlook report is optimistic that recovery from COVID-19 will continue despite concerns over the new variant, but warns that unequal access to vaccines could leave some countries behind. While we plan for recovery, we also need to ensure that structures are in place to reduce inequalities.

On economic recovery, we know that each year, more and more Canadian businesses and community organizations of all sizes (in all areas of the country) benefit from college and institute applied research to find real solutions to real problems.

We’re also serious about equity, diversity, and inclusion, not only as an ethical and moral responsibility, but also as necessary for sustainable recovery. You can expect more from our new ImpAct-EDI iniative in the coming year!

  1. 50 years young!

Last but not least, in 2022, we have a special year of surprises coming your way. We’re turning 50 and taking the opportunity to look back at some of the key highlights in our history and asking some old friends and experts to share their thoughts for the future!

For now, take some time to rest and reset – you’ve earned it – and we’ll see you in the new year!

Conference 2022: Your next port of call awaits!

Post-secondary leaders are Navigating Anew. Our Connection Conference is back from April 25-27, 2022. Register now and mark your calendars.

Get your crew together!

New this year: Extra discounts on institutional registrations. Institutional groups of five to 14 participants will receive an automatic 10% discount. For institutional registrations of 15 participants or more, a 15% discount will be applied!

Health and safety is our number one concern.

This year’s event will be a hybrid event, which means we will be welcoming participants online and in person in Halifax! The health and safety of all attendees remains our priority and we will be taking extra steps to protect everyone attending the event in person.

What to expect?

Our Connection Conference is the largest event of its kind in Canada. 1500+ participants, 50+ live and recorded sessions, innovative and engaging keynote speakers, and thought forums on critical issues facing post-secondary education.

LIVE: Indigenous rights are human rights

Episode 3 of Perspectives LIVE airs December 15! The human rights conversation in Canada is inextricably linked to both the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples and the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, both of which consider education as vital to preserving and strengthening Indigenous communities.

Are our collective efforts at reconciliation just lip service? And where do human rights, Indigenous rights, and our recovery efforts intersect?

Reminder: Nominate an Indigenous student for one of four new bursaries

The new Bird Construction/Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary provides financial support to Indigenous college and institute students that demonstrate financial need and face challenges or barriers to participating in and completing post-secondary education! Four bursaries of $2,500 each are availableDeadline: December 20.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Collège d’Alma is stepping up as leader in immersive learning experiences? Instructors and researchers at the college have spent the last four years designing and developing more than 125 immersive 360° video tutorials for programs as varied as nursing, pharmacy, police technologies, theatre, and tourism. With the video capsules, students can practice simulations as many times as they need, at their own rhythm!


Red River College Polytechnic named James Wilson as Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Business Development.

Cégep Marie-Victorin named France Côté as Director of Studies.

Fanshawe College named Simon Trevarthen as Chief Innovation and Open Assets Officer.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.