Ottawa, November 21, 2023 – More Canadian colleges and institutes will be able to create accessible international work and learning experiences for Canadian students, thanks to 27 new mobility-focused innovation projects through Global Skills Opportunity (GSO). The new projects, to be implemented by colleges and institutes across the country, will test different tools, supports, and services to create more inclusive opportunities for Canadian students to study and work abroad.
Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, GSO makes international learning experiences more accessible to Canadian post-secondary students. Through the program, more than 11,000 Canadian students – especially those for whom such experiences have traditionally been less accessible – will acquire the global skills employers want and the Canadian economy needs.
This is the second round of mobility-focused innovation projects that Colleges and Institutes Canada has launched through GSO. In 2021, a first round provided funding to 47 institutions 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. This round encouraged greater collaboration between institutions and prioritized projects that are scalable with potential to have a greater impact on reducing barriers to participation and enriching outbound student mobility experiences across the post-secondary education sector.
During International Education Week, Global Skills Opportunity highlights how study and work abroad experiences like these expose students to new environments, challenges, and ways of thinking, helping them learn the skills, confidence, and an appreciation for diversity. They are also a key component of the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy.
Global Skills Opportunity is the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program and is administered jointly by Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada. GSO leverages the expertise and experience of Canada’s colleges, institutes, and universities and the long-standing partnerships Canadian educators have around the globe. So far, more than 6,000 students have benefited from Global Skills Opportunity, most of whom are Indigenous, have a disability or are from low-income backgrounds.
“Innovation is at the heart of Global Skills Opportunity. As the nature of work changes, learning experiences outside the classroom, and outside the country, become more relevant than ever. These new innovation projects will ensure that more Canadian students are equipped with global competencies like adaptability, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving to succeed in the workplace, now and in the future.”
Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada
About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. It advocates, builds capacity, and drives knowledge to strengthen Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. With more than 95% of Canadians living within 50 km of a member institution, and thanks to its extensive reach around the globe, CICan works to future-proof communities in Canada and abroad.
We respectfully acknowledge that CICan’s offices in Ottawa are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.
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