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October 15, 2019

Why federal elections matter to colleges and institutes

With less than a week left before election day, parties and candidates are ramping up their campaigning and laying out their platform priorities for the next four years. CBC’s Canada Votes 2019 platform analysis highlights issues ranging from a federal carbon tax, pipelines, and feasibility of climate change plans, to immigration, reconciliation with Indigenous populations, jobs, small business development and technology.

Not surprisingly, most party platform announcements as they pertain to education are centred around affordability: reducing interest on student loans, increasing RESP contribution limits, and in some cases, establishing free-universal post-secondary tuition. While education remains within provincial and territorial jurisdiction, colleges and institutes are affected by many federal policies and programs, well beyond their students’ ability to pay.

Our annual submissions to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance consultations outline the key federal issues of importance for colleges and institutes. For example, this year’s submission to prebudget consultations included:

  • Supporting innovation through applied research: In addition to project-based research grants allocated through federal funding agencies, colleges and institutes need investment in business innovation engagement services, to provide stable and predictable funding for applied research centres serving the needs of community partners.
  • Investing in skills development to support Canadians in a changing economy: Increasing investments that strengthening coordination between the needs of individuals, employers, and training providers, including prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR), will help Canadians update their skills to respond to challenges posed by automation and climate change.
  • Improving access to post-secondary education for Indigenous populations: Increasing access to financial assistance, pathways, and wraparound support services will reduce barriers to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners.
  • Expanding post-secondary infrastructure: Further support for college and institute infrastructure will allow for the construction of new facilities and necessary energy-efficient upgrades to existing facilities that support learning and innovation.
  • Leveraging college and institute expertise in support of international development: Support for international projects to develop responsive and demand-driven programs, including technical and vocational education and training (TVET) will support social and economic initiatives in developing countries, including increasing opportunities for women and girls and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Download the full submission for more information on each recommendation.

This year we also took part in a joint submission organized by the College Applied Research Taskforce, a consortium of post-secondary stakeholders including: Tech-Access Canada, l’Association pour la recherche au collégial, BC Colleges, Atlantic Colleges Atlantique, the Fédération des cégeps, and Synchronex. Download the taskforce’s submission pushing for a sustainable solution for engaging SMEs in business innovation.

Engaging with federal politicians in the context of Election 2019 is critical to ensuring that these priorities are well understood. We want candidates to get to know their local college or institute and the impact it has in their community by inviting them to visit your campuses. Send a letter inviting candidates in your riding to see their local colleges or institutes in action!

New education for employment program in Tunisia

At the end of September, CICan was in Tunis to officially launch the brand-new Education for Employment (EFE) Al-Najah Tunisia program! EFE Al-Najah (which means “success” in Arabic) Tunisia will support higher education and graduate employability in Tunisia’s network of Institutions of Higher Technical Education (ISET – Institutions supérieures d’études technologiques) through collaboration with Canadian colleges and institutes.

With $5.8 million in funding from Global Affairs Canada over four years, the initiative will contribute to the economic empowerment of young graduates, particularly young women, living in Tunisia’s most underprivileged regions. This will help to lower the country’s unemployment rate and to combat women being disproportionately affected by poverty.

For more details, view the full press release.

Share knowledge and innovative approaches to Indigenous education

Join us and our host institutions at the upcoming Indigenous Education Symposium in Saskatoon from November 4-6 to share your knowledge and innovative approaches to serving Indigenous peoples and communities!

The theme of this year’s symposium is TAPWEWIN and ReconciliACTION. TAPWEWIN means ‘’the truth’’ in the Cree language.

Explore the full program, including keynote speaker Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D., Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and International Treaty Chief. Dr. Littlechild is a Cree chief, lawyer, and residential school survivor.

The event is organized with the support of host institutions Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the Dumont Technical Institute. For the first time, an international delegation of 50 participants organized through CICan’s Pacific Alliance Education for Employment (PA-EFE) Program will participate in the symposium with the financial support from Global Affairs Canada.

Nominate excellence in your institution

Each year, our Awards of Excellence showcase not only exceptional individuals across college and institute campuses, but also highlight excellence in four categories at the institutional level: Internationalization Excellence, Indigenous Education Excellence, Program Excellence, and Applied Research and Innovation Excellence.

Take this opportunity to showcase your institution to the national network by November 18.

Gold recipients in each category will receive $1,000 courtesy of TD Insurance, as well as a recognition trophy and a complimentary registration to the CICan 2020 Connection Conference.

A new report on gender inequality in Kenya’s TVET sector

Last week, the Kenya Education for Employment (KEFEP) team launched a ground-breaking report on gender inequality. The Gender Analysis in Kenya’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training Sector report is the first of its kind in Kenya!

The report not only provides an in-depth gender analysis of KEFEP projects but also presents a comprehensive situational analysis of gender issues and challenges in the country and within its institutions. It will allow both the Government of Kenya and TVET stakeholders to better understand how and why gender differences are relevant to the TVET sector and to develop viable solutions to addressing gender inequality.

A total of 351 stakeholders were engaged during visits to ten national polytechnics to gather data and conduct interviews to form the report.

The can’t-miss cyber event of the year

Join the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) Talent for the upcoming Future of the Cybersecurity Workforce Symposium on October 29 at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto!

This industry-leading, thought-provoking symposium will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, academia, and non-profit organizations to address the community’s cybersecurity education, training and workforce needs. Learn more about best practices and learnings from around the world to help confront cybersecurity risks today and in years to come.

Speakers will cover a range of topics, including cybersecurity and the intersection with quantum computing and AI, the role of government in cybersecurity education, options for the future of the cybersecurity workforce, and more.

The symposium will also be held in the context of ITAC Talent’s public consultations on the development of a Cybersecurity Skills Framework and draft National Occupational Standard (NOS) for Cybersecurity. Two two-hour focus groups will be held in Toronto on October 30th. Those interested in attending should contact Sandi Campbell at

Courage to Act: a national framework to address gender-based violence

Earlier this year, through consultations with stakeholders across the country, the Government of Canada undertook to develop a harmonized national framework to sustainably address policy, procedures, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention at post-secondary institutions.

The Courage to Act: Developing a National Framework to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada report is the result of that commitment.

Colleges and institutes were represented on the draft framework’s 29-person advisory committee by Ann Buller, former president of Centennial College; Janet Morrison, president of Sheridan College; and Nancy Déziel, director general of the National Centre for Electrochemistry and Environmental Technologies (Centre national en électrochimie et en technologies environnementales) at the Collège Shawinigan.

Informed by survivors, student researchers, frontline workers and policy experts to address and prevent gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions and beyond, the framework is meant to be a call to action. Visit Courage to Act to learn more.

The framework and advisory committee are funded by the federal government department of Women and Gender Equality.

Participate in the CSA Group Academic Challenge

Are you a student with forward-looking ideas on industry practices and issues that are influenced by standards? The Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) wants to hear your voice!

CSA Group’s Academic Challenge connects future leaders across multiple areas of study with the world of standards to help them discover their impact on everyday life. Students learn how engaging in the standards development process can positively affect their careers and bring new perspectives to the established standards development community.

Challenge finalists, as selected by a panel of judges, are fully sponsored to attend the CSA Group Annual Conference and present their project to our members and conference participants who will vote on the winning presentation.

Submissions will be open until April 2020.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) committed to becoming completely carbon neutral by 2050? By signing a letter organized by the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, KPU is joining more than 190 institutions of higher education from 50 countries in mobilizing resources for climate-related education and research. KPU is the first post-secondary institution in Western Canada to join the worldwide sustainability commitment!


Conestoga College appointed Tony Thoma to the role of executive dean to the Schools of Engineering & Technology, Trades & Apprenticeship and the Institute of Food Processing Technology. Thoma most recently held positions in administration and special projects at Niagara College.


Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in International
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in Applied Research and Innovation
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
View more


SAGE call for proposals

The SAGE program is accepting submissions for its call for proposals until October 22.

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.