Stronger ties with world’s best and brightest: Goal of International Education Strategy

Ottawa, October 14, 2011

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, along with the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today announced the formation of an expert advisory panel to Canada’s International Education Strategy to make recommendations to the government on how to develop and implement an international education strategy as part of the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

"I am proud to announce that we are establishing an advisory panel of eminent Canadians that will advise the government as we develop and implement an international education strategy—an initiative that is critical to Canada’s continued economic growth and prosperity," said Minister Fast in a keynote speech in Beijing to representatives of over 90 Canadian educational institutions.

The expert panel will advise the government on attracting the best and brightest international students to Canada; strengthening Canada’s engagement with emerging priority markets; expanding the delivery of Canadian expertise, knowledge and education services abroad; and promoting partnerships between Canadian and international education institutions.

"Education, innovation and knowledge are now key drivers in a world economy that is increasingly interconnected through global supply chains, trade alliances between countries, and businesses seeking to expand and succeed in high-growth markets around the world," said Minister Fast. "Attracting more international students and researchers to Canada will create jobs and economic growth, expand our people-to-people ties in priority markets, showcase Canadian research excellence abroad, help produce a more skilled workforce and foster closer ties between Canadian and international education institutions."

"Our government’s unprecedented investments in higher-education research and development have helped keep Canada in the top rank of G-7 countries," said Minister Flaherty. "They demonstrate the essential role innovation plays in boosting our nation’s productivity and standard of living. Now, with this prestigious new panel, we can go even further, partnering with our nation’s education leaders to reach out to recognized global institutions and unleash Canada’s full potential in international education."

"International students contribute $6.5 billion to the Canadian economy every year," said Minister of State Menzies during an address at Algonquin College in Ottawa. "Enhancing our nation’s ability to attract top students and researchers will help build the international networks that will strengthen Canada’s position as a leading player in the global economy."

The Canadians selected by ministers Fast and Flaherty to help formulate recommendations for the international education strategy are:

  • Amit Chakma, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Ontario (Panel Chair)

  • André Bisson, Chair of the Board, Centre for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations, lead director, Transat A.T. and Chancellor Emeritus, Université de Montréal

  • Jacynthe Côté, President and CEO, Rio Tinto Alcan

  • Colin Dodds, President, Saint Mary’s University

  • Lorna Smith, Director, Office of International Education, Mount Royal University

  • Don Wright, President, British Columbia Institute of Technology

"I am honoured to have been asked to serve as chair of the advisory panel that will make recommendations to ministers Fast and Flaherty on the development of the Government of Canada’s international education strategy," said Mr. Chakma. "I look forward to working with fellow panel members as we begin this important work, and we commend the Government of Canada for recognizing the need for a comprehensive international education plan."

The strategy will be announced once the new advisory panel has consulted with provinces and territories, partners and stakeholders from the education sector across the country. The advisory panel is expected to report to the ministers of International Trade and Finance in early 2012, and the strategy is expected to be released shortly afterwards.

For more information on Canada’s international education programs, please visit International Education and Youth.

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For more information, please contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Bram Sepers
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)