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Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program

Colleges and Institutes Canada was selected by the Government of Canada to design and administer a new outbound student mobility pilot program in collaboration with Universities Canada, as part of Canada’s International Education Strategy. This program will provide post-secondary students with additional opportunities to study and work overseas, strengthening their global competency and enriching Canada’s economic prosperity.

Canadians need to be globally fluent and connected, especially in emerging economies, to succeed in a rapidly changing, and increasingly international, labour market. This 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. It will also diversify the destination countries where students can pursue opportunities, and test innovative approaches to reducing barriers to working and studying abroad.

Innovation Fund

Initially planned for April 2020, due to COVID-19, the full program launch has been postponed to the spring of 2021, or as soon as conditions permit. During this delayed period, Colleges and Institutes Canada has launched a call for proposals to member institutions for innovative outbound student mobility projects. This upfront investment will allow member institutions to test different tools, supports and services to build inclusive study/work abroad opportunities, adjust programming to a COVID-19 environment, and will serve as a stepping-stone for the full implementation of the program.

Approved Innovation Fund Projects

Advisory Group

Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada have convened an advisory group of leaders and experts in education, civil society, and business to provide high-level strategic advice and guidance on the design and implementation of the program. In addition to informing strategic and policy issues, committee members also serve as ambassadors to build awareness and support for the program across their networks.

Members include:

  • The Right Honourable David Johnston, Chair, Rideau Hall Foundation (chair)
  • John Baker, President & CEO, D2L
  • Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce
  • Larissa Bezo, President and CEO, Canadian Bureau for International Education
  • Margaret Biggs, Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy, Queen’s University
  • Seren Friskie, Student Representative, Thompson Rivers University and Douglas College; Research Assistant, Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Zabeen Hirji, Executive Advisor, Future of Work, Deloitte
  • Elizabeth Kwan, Senior Researcher, Canadian Labour Congress
  • Sue Paish, CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster
  • Christian Paradis, Former Minister of Industry and International Development
  • Ian Smith, CEO, Clearwater Seafoods

Fast Facts

  • Less than 3% of Canadian post-secondary students currently take part in one session or more overseas.
  • Up to 11,000 Canadian students will benefit from the pilot project over its five-year duration.

Funded By

The Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program is funded by the Government of Canada through Employment and Social Development Canada and is administered through a unique partnership between Colleges and Institutes Canada, Universities Canada, and Canadian post-secondary institutions.