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International Partnerships Update

November 2018 – January 2019

New Canadian International Education Strategy

Canada’s New International Education Strategy

The Fall Economic Statement, contained the following commitment from the Federal government: “To build more skills and provide training that will help support Canada’s international trade and increase global ties, Global Affairs Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada will work together to develop a new international education strategy.” Since then, the International Education Division at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has reached out to CICan and other associations to solicit some initial feedback in advance of a more formal consultation process. Given short timelines, CICan worked with its International Advisory Committee to provide answers to the list of questions received. On a related note, at the request of ESDC and the Department of Finance, CICan and Universities Canada have developed a joint implementation proposal for an outbound mobility program and have engaged with various officials on the topic ensuring that the specific needs of college and institutes’ learners are considered.

For more information please contact Alain Roy

Study permit facilitation and other activities in support of student recruitment

Study Direct Stream Expansion (SDS)

CICan continues to engage with IRCC and Canadian financial institutions around the expansion of SDS. IRCC has recently indicated an openness to launching an SDS program wherever the necessary financial tools are available. We expect more information around this to be made publicly available in April/May. In advance of such an announcement, we are working with the Visa Office in Sao Paolo to move forward with the implementation of a facilitative program in Brazil but, at this point, are lacking a firm commitment from a financial partner in order to proceed. As such, we do not yet have a firm timeline for implementation and will keep you informed as the process evolves.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, a total of 9,562 students were processed through the Study Direct Stream between June 1st and Sept 30th, 2018. Of them, 50% had applied for a study permit associated to a college or institute (Philippines – 86%; India – 72%; Vietnam – 55%; China – 6%). Overall approval rates for college and institute applicants were 93%. We will continue to follow these developments closely and provide updates when available.

IRCC Program Delivery Update

On January 7th, IRCC published new program delivery instructions to provide guidance on whether a study permit holder is or has been compliant with their study permit – Study Permits: Assessing study permit conditions. These instructions support the International Student Compliance Regime, which was launched in 2014 following regulatory changes that required all study permit holders to actively pursue their studies while in Canada. CICan was consulted at the beginning of 2017 and shared relevant documents with members to solicit feedback.

IRCC Biometrics Expansion

As of December 31, 2018, Canada’s biometric collection program has been expanded to include study permit applications from all countries, except the United States. CICan has and continues to work proactively with IRCC to ensure that new regulations are implemented with minimal impact to our members and the students they recruit. To that end, CICan has remained in constant communication with department officials, highlighting challenges and issues raised by our members, and has facilitated information sharing webinars between both parties. While the new biometric regulations are an important means to ensure program integrity and to bring Canada in line with many of our key competitors, they will nonetheless increase the cost to students and will render a study permit application to Canada less accessible for those living outside of major urban centers where Visa Application Centers tend to be located. Such is the case for hundreds of students from Réunion Island (and many more from other rural and remote areas) who apply each year and must now travel to the neighboring island of Mauritius to provide their biometrics. Though IRCC has welcomed feedback and has shown openness to creative solutions, CICan continues to advocate for a more accessible options – including deployment of mobile Visa Application Centers – for students living in rural and remote areas.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne

Research on Emerging Markets for Recruitment to Canadian Colleges/Institutes

CICan continues to work towards the finalization this research project. A preliminary report will be reviewed in February by CICan’s International Advisory Committee, and a full report will be available for members in March. We plan to organize webinars and sessions during CICan’s Annual Congress to review and discuss the report contents with CICan members.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne

Business development – project proposal pipeline

Colombia: Development Impact Bond

Building on the success of the Essential Skills Social Finance Project, CICan is exploring a project concept for a Development Impact Bond (DIB) that could lead to new ways of engaging international partnerships. DIBs seek to incentivize private sector funding (e.g. foundations, investors) to pursue development outcomes by working with project implementers like CICan and its members colleges. A development agency such as Global Affairs Canada could then act as the outcome funder and repay the private sector partner if certain result milestones are achieved, including a premium on the initial investment.

For more information please contact Camille Joseph Khoury.

East Africa: East Africa Skills and Empowerment (EASE) Program Concept

CICan is developing a concept for a large regional project in East Africa to support the Northern Corridor Integration Project (NCIP) initiative that links Kenya’s Mombasa Port to the rest of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan (with Burundi, Ethiopia and Tanzania as NCIP observers). CICan has received interest from a Canadian Member of Parliament, who is keen to champion this idea within the government and Global Affairs Canada.

Mozambique, Uganda, Somalia: Global Affairs Canada Call for Proposals

Dismantling Barriers and Improving the Quality of Education for Women and Girls in Fragile, Conflict and Crisis Situations

CICan is partnering with a Canadian NGO to respond to a Global Affairs Canada Call for Proposals launched in December 2018. CICan and several of its colleges will be able to build on their experience in Mozambique, while the Ugandan context is new to CICan. The intervention in Somalia (Somaliland) would provide an opportunity to pilot innovative approaches to education delivery in a fragile context. The proposal, which is due on February 13, 2019, will be for five-years and $15 million total, approximately half of which would be earmarked for CICan.

Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan: Business Development Tour

CICan has been invited by Global Affairs Canada to explore business development opportunities in Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan in February 2019. The opportunities are related to potential contract services for teacher training, curriculum development, and other areas in the emerging TVET sectors in the three countries.

For more information please contact Camille Joseph Khoury.

Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA)

Earlier in January, CICan applied to GAC’s funding envelop that supports business development for Canadian associations (GOA). There are two packages of work that both build on existing partnerships and seek to open to opportunities for CICan members.

Package #1: Trilateral Partnership with CICan-China-West Africa
CICan has been working on a concept with the West African Economic & Monetary Union (acronym UEMOA) for several years to establish a polytechnic in a UEMOA country that would serve as a centre of excellence for technical and professional training and regional harmonization of skills development. Recent discussions with the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) has revealed an interest in developing a trilateral partnership with the UEMOA to set up such an institution.

Package #2: Exploratory work towards creating a Canada-China TVET Center in China
CICan have been active in the China market and Canada’s vocational education system enjoys a strong reputation there. We now face increasing competition from other countries such as Germany, UK, and Australia. A recommendation arising from GOA-supported research last year is to create a more formal platform or mechanism in China to systematically promote the Canadian brand in TVET & expand business opportunities for colleges. This package seeks to carry out some exploratory work to this end.

Recent developments in Canada’s relationship with China

 You will all have followed the recent developments in Canada’s relationship with China.  As far as we know, current educational partnership activities haven’t been disrupted and we trust that the strong relationships developed with Chinese educational institutions, built on regular, open and respectful discussions, will not be affected by the current tensions in the relationship. CICan was recently in touch with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). It’s also their hope and expectation that the current situation will not affect educational partnerships. That said, we understand that CICan members’ staff scheduled to travel to China are concerned given the publicity around the Canadians who have been detained recently. Here is the Global Affairs travel advisory for China last updated on January 14th. CICan is carrying on with its planned activities and travel to China although we conduct individual risk assessments. We exercise extra caution when it comes to staff with Canadian government ties, or with current or past connections to the security industry or other sensitive sectors.

For more information, please contact Darrin Caron

Inter-Professional Health Care Education

Working with a select group of health care educators, CICan is developing the inter-professional health care education as a “saleable” product. Elder populations in Asia are going and the need to have affordable, efficient health care services are critical. Canada has a strong health care brand and experience in integrated inter-professional health care delivery which positions us well in the market. The package will include; policy development, education/health care industry partnerships, curriculum development and faculty training as part of the integrated solution. Once the product is finalized, we will develop a marketing piece to be used to introduce the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional representatives to CICan’s capabilities in health care education.

For more information please contact Darrin Caron

Bangladesh Study Tour

CICan is working with the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh to further introduce them to the Canadian Education system. The tour will start in in BC and then move to Ontario. The Bangladeshi Ministry of Education is interested in meeting with provincial ministries of education to discuss quality assurance initiatives, programs approval processes and program funding. There will also be a number of college visits and presentations. The tour will end with the Bangladeshi representatives being invited to the annual conference in May.

For more information please contact Darrin Caron


CICan, in collaboration with the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute and the Linking Industry with Academia (LIWA) organization, was invited by the international development Research Centre – Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa, to submit a proposal to manage a TVET innovation fund in Kenya. This three-year initiative is expected to start in the first quarter of the 2019-2020 and will focus on three pillars that are critical in addressing sustainable social and economic development in Kenya: Innovation and Applied Hubs, Gender Equality in TVET and, Action Research. Only Kenyan institutions such as Polytechnics will be eligible to apply for those funds, but we believe that several of them will be interested to work with Canadian colleges and institutes to undertake more applied research.

For more information please contact Susan Sproule

Caribbean: Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE)

CICan will hopefully sign the Contribution Agreement in February 2019, with the Inception Phase taking place from February – August 2019. Consultancies and college/institutes partnerships will be posted fall 2019.

For more information please contact Susan Sproule

Upcoming Missions

  • Tanzania: February 12 and 13, 2019 in Arusha: Representatives from CICan’s ISTEP team, ISTEP partnerships and other stakeholders will meet to participate in the ISTEP Partnership Celebration & Closure event. Participants will share successes, stories, challenges and lessons learned; share ways to enhance the sustainability of results; and build a sustainable informal network that will last beyond the life of the project. For more information please contact Susan Sproule.
  • Pacific Alliance: March 21-22, 2019, in Santiago, Chile: The first thematic PA-EFE Program Forum will focus on Gender Equality in the Extractive Sector.
  • End of June 2019, in Mexico City: The second Forum will focus on technical vocational education and training in the Extractive Sector (dates TBC)
  • October 2019, in Nova Scotia, Canada: The third Forum will focus on the relationship between Indigenous communities and the Extractive Sector, around the same time as CICan’s next Indigenous Education Symposium. For more information please contact Marie-Josee Fortin

Update on recent activities

Proposal submissions

Tanzania Empowerment through Skills Program

CICan submitted an unsolicited proposal to GAC in November 2018 for a seven-year, $25 million program in Tanzania to work with community-based organizations and Folk Development Colleges to increase the rate of participation of women in skills training programs, to increase access to business, skills and human rights training in their communities, and to enhance their economic opportunities in the informal and formal sectors through post-training support in transitioning to employment or self-employment. CICan and its members will work in partnership with the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET).

For more information please contact Susan Sproule

Senegal Projet Mille Femmes “Je suis femme, j’existe, je participe (FEP)”

CICan submitted an unsolicited proposal to Global Affairs Canada in November 2018 for a six-year, $18 million program in Senegal aims to empower the most vulnerable and marginalized women in Senegal by adapting training to the needs of women working in the informal economy to recognize their life and professional experiences, to reinforce their skills and to assist them in the development productive activities in growth sectors of the economy. At the same time, the project will strengthen the capacity of these women to recognize their rights as women, and as active participants in economic and civic life in Senegal. This project responds to a request from the Government of Senegal and will be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Vocational Training, Handicrafts and Apprenticeship (MFPAA).

For more information please contact Marie-Josee Fortin

New initiatives

MOU with the Brazilian Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES):

CICan and the Brazilian Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) signed a 5-year collaborative agreement in December 2018. The objectives of the agreement are to:

  • foster academic cooperation between Brazilian higher education institutions and Canadian institutions;
  • provide leadership and internationalization training to the CAPES’ team and technical staff;
  • contribute to the improvement of teaching and learning processes of Brazilian basic education;
  • provide training to Brazilian teachers from public schools.

Canada-Brazil Scholarship Program (CBSP)

The candidates for the 2019-2020 Canada-Brazil Scholarship Program (CBSP) were selected in late December 2018. Overall, five students were awarded the scholarship; one for each region of Brazil. CICan is currently working with the colleges and institutes that participated to the Brazil marketing strategy to place the students. They are expected to come to Canada for up to 16 months for language training, two post-secondary semesters and an internship.

For more information please contact Marie-Josee Fortin

Current EFE Projects Update

The draft C-EFE End of Program Report was submitted December 2018 to Global Affairs Canada. The final report will be submitted, and the program will end March 2019.
The team also looks forward to sharing key outcomes, successes and stories of change in the next International Partnerships update.

For more information please contact Susan Sproule

Pacific Alliance
FPA-EFE Program will be launching new Calls for Proposals before the end of March 2019. Further details about these thematic Forums and new Calls for Proposals will be shared soon.

For more information please contact Marie-Josee Fortin

Leadership training opportunities/upcoming webinars

  • February 6th, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m. (90 minutes)
    Education for Employment Webinar (Offered in French)
  • April 17th, 2019 @ 1:00 p.m. (90 minutes)
    Webinar: Mobility Trends to Canada: Exploring Recent IRCC Data
  • July 4th-8th, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Leadership Institute for Leaders of International (Offered in English)
    This year’s edition of the Institute is scheduled to be held. Lead Faculty: Ann Buller, President, Centennial College. More information will be available shortly. For more information, please contact Paola Ortiz
  • November 2019
    Leadership Institute for Leaders of International (Offered in English)
    CICan is also making plans to organize a second edition of this Institute in French during November. More information available later this spring.

2018-2019 events and conferences

Marketing and Recruitment Events in the Philippines

Organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada in Manila, CICan is pleased to offer our members two days of business development activities in Manila focusing on student recruitment and partnership/contract development with education agents, corporate and continuing education partners. It is anticipated that around 20 CICan members will participate in these events (March 1 and 2), which will be exclusively oriented towards promoting colleges and institutes.

For more information please contact Andrew Champagne

CICan 2019 Conference

Planning for the annual conference is well under way and the identification of sessions will be announced shortly. On the Sunday afternoon of the conference, the International Division will be hosting a “thought session” revolving around the theme of risk mitigation. Table top exercises will be conducted to discuss potential issues/challenges that could have an impact on international enrollments.

Other News

Colleges and Institutes of Canada Selected to Provide Pre-Arrival Services

Pre-arrival settlement services are a key element of Canada’s immigration program.

They provide newcomers, including refugees, with the information and settlement support they need to make informed decisions about their new life in Canada before they arrive, such as how to prepare for finding a job. To help deliver these important services, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be providing funding of $18.4 million to Colleges and Institutes of Canada (CICan).

CICan is 1 of 4 intake service providers that will offer national-level information, orientation and onward referrals to economic and family-class pre-arrival clients.

For more information click here.