OTTAWA – Today U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman emphasized the importance of academic exchange opportunities for American students in Canada at an event to mark the launch of a Universities Canada report, titled Heading north: The experience of American students at Canadian universities. Universities Canada President, Paul Davidson joined the Ambassador for the launch, which took place during a meeting of Canadian university presidents in Ottawa.
“I hope that every Universities Canada member institution, and every advocate of Canada’s system of higher education, will take a close look at Heading north. It’s exciting to think that the ideas, best practices, and policy recommendations in the report will lead to even more American students bringing their talents and energy to Canadian campuses,” said U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman.
In 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa provided a grant to Universities Canada to conduct a study of “push and pull” factors that draw American students to Canadian universities. Universities Canada, which represents nearly 100 Canadian universities, conducted focus groups in four Canadian cities with American students attending different Canadian institutions. The report summarizes the students’ experiences and identifies recommendations to make Canadian universities more attractive destinations for American students interested in studying abroad.
In his remarks, Ambassador Heyman emphasized that encouraging American students to seek higher education in Canada is a productive investment for both countries. Beyond the economic impact international students have at their host institutions and in the local communities that support them, educational exchanges also foster mutual understanding and long-term connections between academics, students, and the wider community.
“Nearly 10,000 American students choose to study at Canadian universities every year, and it’s heartening to confirm that they overwhelmingly have positive educational experiences in Canada,” said Davidson. “Canada’s universities recognize how transformative study-abroad opportunities are to students’ lives and future careers. We hope to welcome even more students from the United States to Canadian campuses in the future, and look forward to strengthening ties with our American neighbours through the diplomacy of knowledge.
This report was commissioned in support of 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere. The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas is to increase the number of U.S. students studying in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000, and the number of Western Hemisphere students studying in the United States to 100,000 each year.
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About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities (www.univcan.ca).
About 100,000 Strong in the Americas
The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere, is to increase the number of U.S. students studying in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000, and the number of Western Hemisphere students studying in the United States to 100,000 each year.
The educational initiative aims to enhance hemispheric competitiveness, increase prosperity, and provide study abroad opportunities to prepare a globally aware and culturally competent workforce.
To implement the President’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative, an Innovation Fund was established as a public-private partnership among the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The Innovation Fund awards promote transnational institutional partnerships by leveraging private sector contributions and commitments by higher education institutions to increase unique study abroad opportunities for students in the Western Hemisphere. Vancouver Island University, partnering with Pitzer College in the United States, is the first Canadian university to win an Innovation Fund grant. The program will develop an exchange program for Indigenous youth to learn more about higher education in the United States and Canada (www.100kstrongamericas.org).
About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.