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March 29, 2021

The world at the touch of your screen

In August 2019, Employment and Social Development Canada selected us, with Universities Canada, to develop an Outbound Student Mobility Program that would help Canadian students, especially those that don’t typically participate in international study opportunities, acquire in-demand global skills through opportunities to study or work abroad as part of Canada’s new International Education Strategy. No one could have predicted that eight months later, swift border closures and travel restrictions would bring the global skills trade to a grinding halt.

So, how can students develop global competencies and benefit from intercultural experiences when they can’t leave the country? That’s the question we asked Canada’s colleges and institutes.

While the launch of the full program was delayed, we asked our members to propose mobility-focused innovation projects to fund through the pilot’s Innovation Fund! In total, we provided funding to 47 colleges and institutes to implement 69 projects, including piloting virtual mobility, testing new wrap-around support services, developing risk management policies, enhancing recruitment strategies, and developing new institutional partnerships! Here’s a snapshot of what we saw:

  • At Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies up to 20 Indigenous and low-income students will participate in a three-week virtual summer exchange with the IÉSEG International Summer Academy. The project will ultimately increase Indigenous student awareness and preparedness for international work and study opportunities!
  • At Portage College research is being conducted to better identify barriers to international education and to increase awareness of and access to outbound opportunities for students from rural, northern, and remote communities.
  • At BCIT, the Indigenous mobility initiatives team is consulting with Indigenous leaders, students, and stakeholders to better design mobility programs that align with Indigenous perspectives, aspirations, cultural and traditional values, as well as the needs of Indigenous communities.
  • Collège Montmorency and Cégep Marie-Victorin are working on a unique inverse mobility project designed for students returning from international experiences. The 3-part video modules focus on concerns such as reverse culture shock, intercultural skills, and employability and networking skills.
  • Earlier this year, Vanier College launched a project with the Tianjin Vocational Institute in China in which students formed groups online to identify and solve community-based issues with low-cost 3D printing solutions.
  • A joint project between Humber College and Nova Scotia Community College will produce Canada’s first baseline study of college and institute risk management strategies for international mobility. The results of the study will be compiled to develop a Risk Management Toolkit for post-secondary institutions.
  • Students in ocean technology at Marine Institute of Memorial University are gaining important cross-cultural training in climate-change resilience and sustainable ocean management through close, virtual collaboration with their counterparts in mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering at Barbados Community College.
  • The Global Mobility Peer Support project, run jointly by College of New Caledonia, North Island College, and Aurora College, is providing a platform for students who have not yet experienced a study abroad program to engage with study abroad alumni with the goal of facilitating peer support and addressing perceived barriers to study aboard experiences.

Mobility remains a vital element of getting Canadian students ready to join the workforce with global competencies. The Outbound Student Mobility Pilot program will help thousands of young Canadians, especially those for whom international experiences are less accessible, develop valuable intercultural competencies and access enriching employment opportunities. Already, thousands of learners will benefit from these innovative projects!

As we wait for international travel to resume safely, we hope to launch the next phase of this project with a mix of in-person and virtual opportunities. Colleges and institutes have always been nimble and adaptive to changing global circumstances and this challenge is no different. Watch the recording of last week’s information session and stay tuned this spring for more on what comes next!

Last chance to take advantage of reduced early-bird rates!

The countdown is on: In just over 30 days, we will be changing the narrative. Be sure to register before April 1 to take advantage of reduced early-bird rates.

Our Connection Conference is coming to your screens from April 26-28. 

Explore the full program and plan your personalized conference experience!

This new immersive virtual experience will take place over three days, six streams, and 50+ sessions. Explore the program, choose your favourite sessions, and select your personalized one-, two-, or three-day registration package. Take a deeper look.

Explore the online presentation gallery!

This year’s unique format means that participants will be able to engage with content in non-traditional ways. In addition to live sessions, registration gives you unlimited access to pre-recorded sessions available on demand in the online presentation gallery! Register now.

Must read: What is a micro-credential?

As more and more Canadians look to colleges and institutes for upskilling and reskilling opportunities in a world characterized by rapid change, the answer to this question is more important than ever – which is why we launched a national framework to offer a standard definition and guiding principles!

This new framework defines a micro-credential as a certification of assessed competencies that is additional, alternate, complementary to, or a component of a formal qualification. Discover the full framework and guiding principles! Join our webinar on April 13 to learn more.

Colleges and institutes are leaders in offering and developing micro-credentials, largely in response to the needs of employers in their communities. The national framework will help educators continue to create nimble and responsive micro-credentials that meet high quality standards and help learners choose the right credential for them!

Fund innovative work-integrated learning opportunities through CEWIL’s iHUB

Thanks to a new partnership, post-secondary students throughout the country will have access to up to 8,150 work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences through CEWIL’s new Innovation Hub (iHUB), a centre of expertise that supports innovation and access to high-quality WIL opportunities!

CEWIL is currently accepting proposals for projects that expand access to WIL opportunities, particularly for under-represented students; remove barriers for students to participate in WIL; leverage technology to enhance or extend access to virtual or remote WIL experiences; or innovate WIL through new partnerships and models. Take part in an information session and submit a proposal before March 31.

What a great way to wrap up CEWIL’s National Co-Op and WIL Month! #innovativeWIL

Must read: How much do they make?

A new joint report from the Labour Market Information Council and the Education Policy Research Initiative provides new and comprehensive evidence on the early career earnings of Canadian journeypersons. Among the key findings of the labour-market report, How much do they make? shows that while skilled trades show promising early career earnings for certificate holders, women still make on average half as much as men. Read the full report or read the key findings in the Globe and Mail.

Reliable information helps institutions, policymakers, researchers and the broader Canadian public make more informed decisions. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the choices Canadians make about jobs, careers, education, training and workforce development have become a lot tougher. With this latest report LMIC and EPRI aim to help Canadians make the most informed decisions possible regarding training and education choices.

Learn from experts on cybersecurity and applied research funding

With CANARIE and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), we are hosting two virtual workshops to share information about the latest opportunities available to colleges and institutes!

  • Join CANARIE to learn about initiatives funded through the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program that strengthen the post-secondary sector with advanced technologies, improved processes, and broadened expertise. For college and institute Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT professionals, and those interested in joining our new Information Technology and Security Network, register for this virtual workshop on March 31.
  • SSHRC will share details on funding opportunities for colleges and institutes through SSHRC’s Insight program for projects building knowledge and understanding about people, societies, and the world; and its Connection program for research that facilitates knowledge exchange beyond campus. Participate in the virtual workshop on April 7.

Reminder: Looking for talented student artists!

Are you a student artist? Do you know a talented student artist on campus? We are looking to showcase more art on the walls of our national offices in Ottawa. Submit a work of art to our annual Student Art Showcase!

This year, we invite participants to submit work that reflects on the last year and inspires new ways of looking at the years to come: on connectedness, community, disruption, and reconciliation. Submit in one of six categories: printmaking; textile, mixed media, or sculpture; photography; digital illustration or animation; painting; and drawing.

The winner in each category will receive a monetary prize of $350 and have their art exhibited at our Ottawa office, where it will be visible to visiting Members of Parliament, senior government officials, international dignitaries, and college and institute officials and of

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that two international students at Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick recently won the college student association’s community project contest for a mobile app that they designed and prototyped? The digital platform NBMeet aims to link organizations, businesses, and citizens of the region for work-integrated learning experiences, volunteer opportunities, and access to community resources for those experiencing isolation!


Northern College appointed Aaron Klooster as vice-president, Academic and Student Success. Klooster joins the senior management team from his previous role as Dean of Trades and Technology.

Cégep de Trois-Rivières named Manon Duchesne as the director of Continuing Education and Business Services. Duchesne will take on the new role effective May 7.


Stay safe and healthy on campus. Download the COVID Alert app.

Visit Wellness Together Canada for free online mental health and substance use support.

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.