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Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy

International Education: A Key Driver of Canada's Future Prosperity

On August 14, 2012 the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, released the final report of the Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy, ARCHIVED - International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity. The report outlines a vision for Canada to become a 21st century leader in international education, and successfully attract top talent from around the world to study, conduct research, and potentially immigrate, thereby contributing substantially to Canada’s future prosperity.

The panel’s 14 recommendations are grouped under five themes:

  • Targets for success - achievable goals for the growth of international student numbers as well as an increase in international mobility opportunities for Canadian students;
  • Recommendations related to policy coordination and ensuring sustainable quality;
  • The promotion of education in Canada via practical recommendations such as selecting priority markets and honing Canada’s Brand and use of new media;
  • Required investments, including how Canada should package its scholarship offerings;
  • Aligning promotional efforts with study permit issuance and Canada’s immigration policies.

The Government of Canada will carefully review the Advisory Panel’s recommendations over the coming months, and a formal response and implementation plan for Canada’s International Education Strategy is forthcoming.


In Budget 2011, the Government of Canada announced funding for the development and implementation of a revised International Education Strategy that will reinforce Canada as a country of choice to study and conduct world-class research. The budget also called for the establishment of an advisory panel reporting to the Ministers of International Trade and Finance to make recommendations on the strategy and to set out the contributions of all partners.

An advisory panel was named on October 13, 2011 to provide guidance and direction for the development, implementation and evaluation of an International Education Strategy for Canada.


The mandate of the Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy was to make recommendations on a strategy that will maximise economic opportunities for Canada in the field of international education, including strengthening our engagement with emerging key markets, focusing on attracting the best/brightest international students, encouraging Canadians to study abroad, expanding the delivery of Canadian education services abroad, and building, expanding and ensuring greater partnerships between Canadian and foreign institutions.


The members of the Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy were selected based on their expertise, experience and a sound understanding of education in Canada and international education marketing in general.

The panel is comprised of the following members:

  • Amit Chakma, President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University (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.

Engagement Process

The Advisory Panel has worked to involve provincial and territorial partners and education sector stakeholders in an inclusive process that will collaboratively develop recommendations for Canada’s renewed International Education Strategy.

The engagement process had three phases:

The first phase, Consultation, invited parties to identify the products or services they are interested in, the work that they are currently doing to promote international education, the priority markets, and the support that they need to be successful. This phase was carried out in October-November 2011 and over 140 online submissions were received. 

The second phase, Engagement, consisted of a series of roundtables that were held across the country.  The Advisory Panel met with over 130 representatives from education associations, institutions, and private sector organizations during roundtables in Ottawa, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. These roundtables took place in early December 2011. This phase also included consultations with all provinces and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

The third phase was Collaboration, through a Collaboratory which was held January 17-18, 2012, in Toronto. At the Collaboratory, the Advisory Panel invited partners and stakeholders to discuss new ideas based on the previous consultations and roundtables, approaches and shared commitments that will lead to an overarching theme for the strategy, priority markets, allocation of resources from all parties, and the means to achieve the strategy.  The Collaboratory helped to identify a set of recommended priorities which will guide the Advisory Panel to inform a strong and focused International Education Strategy.

Publication Links

Contact Us

Questions and comments can be directed to the International Education Division at

News Items

Read the full press release on the website: ARCHIVED - Stronger Ties with World’s Best and Brightest in Priority Markets: Goal of International Education Strategy