Government launches comprehensive International Education Strategy

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today launched a new International Education Strategy designed to maintain and enhance Canada’s global position in higher education. The comprehensive plan sets targets to attract more international researchers and students to Canada, deepen the research links between Canadian and foreign educational institutions and establish a pan-Canadian partnership with provinces and territories and all key education stakeholders, including the private sector.

Canada’s International Education Strategy: Harnessing Our Knowledge Advantage to Drive Innovation and Prosperity was announced during an event at the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University attended by the key stakeholders that make up Canada’s international education community. The strategy is the result of extensive consultations by an advisory panel and is an important part of the recently announced Global Markets Action Plan.

The strategy will help Canada build on its already strong education advantages and performance. Capitalizing on these vast opportunities will create jobs and economic growth and help Canada retain and enhance its global leadership position and become more prosperous, innovative and competitive.

As approved in Economic Action Plan 2013, ongoing funding of $5 million per year will be dedicated to supporting the objectives of the International Education Strategy. This investment will be primarily dedicated to branding and marketing Canada as a world-class education destination to audiences within six priority markets.

In addition, the strategy will provide $13 million over two years to the Globalink program of Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that fosters innovation through research and training programs. The Globalink program facilitates student mobility between Canada and Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam.

The strategy seeks to double the number of international students choosing Canada by the year 2022 without displacing Canadian students. 

Attracting more than 450,000 international researchers and students to Canada by 2022 will:

  • create at least 86,500 net new jobs for Canadians, bringing the  total of jobs sustained by international education in Canada to 173,100 new jobs;
  • see international student expenditures in Canada rise to over $16.1 billion, generating economic growth and prosperity in every region of Canada; and
  • provide an approximate $10 billion annual boost to the Canadian economy.

Other key elements of the strategy include:

  • focusing resources and efforts on priority markets that align with Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East and Vietnam);
  • developing Canada’s education “brand”, which will be used by all partners in priority markets;
  • improving linkages and collaboration between Canadian and international educational institutions and research institutes; and
  • entrenching a pan-Canadian approach in the international education sector with all key stakeholders and aligning activities to better advance shared objectives.