Sub Menu

Main Content

February 7, 2022

International development must be sustainable

International Development Week (IDW) shines a spotlight on the important contributions that Canadians are making around the world. Now in its 32nd year, the theme #GoForTheGoals is a call to action for CICan, for our members, and for all Canadians!

This #IDW2022, take action by joining us in signing the SDG Accord! As signatories, we maximize the impact of our efforts, share knowledge, commit to doing more, and hold each other accountable.

At CICan, we make sustainable development the heart of all that we do! Each one of our programs is tied to the SDGs as a model for collaboration to ensure that our actions contribute to positive change for people, communities, and the planet.

This year, we are also celebrating our 50th anniversary and looking back through the history books at our international projects, on how our work in international development has evolved over the years, and how the Canadian model for education contributes to sustainability abroad.

Start from our flagship multi-national EFE program and work backwards!

Does anybody remember “institutional twinning”? It’s our process of sharing Canadian expertise with international partners! As early as the mid-1970s, our advisory groups wanted a way for Canadian colleges and institutes to support the growth of similar institutions in developing countries – and so began our international projects!

“Twinning” arrangements paired Canadian colleges and institutes with international partner institutions to support access to quality education and training, while helping them align their training programs with their country’s labour market needs.

  • By 1991 (the same year as the very first IDW!), our member institutions had been involved in 65 partnerships in over 30 countries!

Fast-forward to 2007, when we inaugurated our first Education for Employment (EFE) projects in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Senegal.

  • EFE is a unique approach that puts quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, decent work and economic growth, and climate action (SDGs 4, 5, 8, 10 and 13) at the heart of its international development approach.
  • Today, our EFE projects are active in 15 countries: (Belize, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, Senegal, St. Lucia, Tanzania, and Tunisia). Each project contributes to all 17 of the SDGs by empowering all people to achieve their full potential through education. 

After 50 years, we’ve learned a lot about supporting international sustainable development. All our international programs proudly showcase and champion this capacity of Canadian colleges and institutes worldwide.

The SDG Accord is an opportunity to mark our global leadership for another 50 years! Help us reach our goal of getting 45 members on board to mark Earth Day on April 22.

  • We signed last year, and so have 15 of our members (so far). Watch the video: Be inspired by their vision for what we can accomplish through collective action.
  • Congratulations to the early adopters and thank you for leading the way! Cégep du Vieux Montréal, Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, Cégep Gaspésie et des Îles, Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Confederation College, Dawson College, Georgian College, Humber College, Lethbridge College, Nova Scotia Community College, Olds College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Selkirk College, Seneca College, Sheridan College.

Conference 2022: Innovative and engaging keynote speakers!

Our Connection Conference is setting sail from April 25-27. Over three days, six streams, and 50+ sessions, we will be Navigating Anew!

  • This just in! Two confirmed keynote speakers (so far!): Fabienne Goux-Baudiment, CEO of proGective; and Barb Stegemann, CEO & founder of The Virtues. Stay tuned for more keynotes to come!
  • Plus! Sessions to inspire and help us navigate uncertain waters: Over 100 speakers in over 50 live and pre-recorded sessions will get you thinking about how your own institution can navigate anewTake a deeper look.

Don’t forget! This year’s event will be a hybrid event, which means we will be welcoming participants online and in person in Halifax. View health and safety information.

LIVE: Amplifying Black excellence

Episode 5 of Perspectives LIVE airs February 16! February is Black History Month, when people in Canada celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians to their communities! Post-secondary institutions and educators have an important role to play by removing barriers and amplifying Black excellence.

On teaching and learning, student support, community resources, and entrepreneurship and innovation, how can post-secondary institutions boost representation of Black Canadians?

Students and graduates: Join our new Youth Advisors Network!

Do you know a young leader and SDG champion? Invite them to join the new CICan Youth Advisors Network! In their communities across the country, our members play an important role in advancing the SDGs. We want to hear directly from passionate young people who are at the heart of our members’ efforts. We need their strategic input and guidance to ensure that everything we do reflects how young people see their future! Deadline: February 21.

Learn from your colleagues and strengthen your leadership skills! 

Are you (or a member of your team) a keen or up-and-coming leader? Or a leader aspiring to greater responsibility? Registration is open for this year’s Leadership Institutes. These are unique in the college and institute sector and bring together leaders from all levels to learn from each other: managers, deans, directors, vice-presidents, and presidents!

VirtuWIL: Help your students develop crucial workplace skills through interactive simulations!

Looking for new innovative and interactive ways to help your students develop crucial workplace skills? Become a Virtu-WIL delivery partner!

Funded by the Government of Canada, this unique collaboration between CICan and Simulation Canada offers students innovative work-integrated learning opportunities using virtual simulation.

  • 37 post-secondary institutions have already developed more than 120 virtual simulations for students in nursing, medical laboratory sciences, and paramedicine.

What’s in it for students?

Through the simulations, students are exposed to real-world situations and develop a broad range of clinical competencies to feel more confident and ready for the workplace. Students also get the opportunity to connect with industry professionals to ask questions, grow their professional network, and deepen their knowledge! Students will also receive a stipend when they complete the program!

New projects partnerships in Peru!

Congratulations to our four members selected to work on two projects with the Ministry of Education in Peru: implementation of a distance learning platform, and development of a national network of digital fabrication laboratories.

  • Working on the implementation of a distance learning platform to ensure that competency-based online learning in sustainable in Peru: Fanshawe College with Humber College!
  • Working on the development of a national network of digital fabrication laboratories to strengthen applied research and support for SMEs: Humber College with Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu!

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that applied research teams at Collège La Cité, Canadore College, and George Brown College worked together to develop an online interactive guide to intellectual property in college and institute applied research? The module takes viewers through a fictional applied research project – from conception, to prototype, to commercialization – and demystifies the concept of intellectual property along the way!


Selkirk College appointed Dr. Maggie Matear as president, effective May 2022.

Langara College appointed Dr. Paula Burns as president, effective June 2022.

North West College appointed Dr. Eli Ahlquist as president, effective February 2022.

Capilano University appointed Kartik Bharadwa as vice-president, People, Culture & Diversity.


Jun 25 - 30th, 2022
CICan Leadership Institute for Non-Managerial Staff and Faculty
Morell, Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort
Jun 25 - 30th, 2022
CICan Leadership Institute for Managers and Chairs
Morell, Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort
View more

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.