Canada's universities pursue global ambitions

Canada’s universities have global ambitions, according to a new internationalization survey conducted by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Overall, 89 per cent of institutions say that the pace of their internationalization efforts has accelerated during the past three years, and 82 per cent list internationalization among their top five strategic priorities.

Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, who was a member of AUCC’s internationalization survey advisory committee, says that universities are well aware of the benefits of increasing international engagement within their institutions.

“Internationalization is clearly a priority for the majority of Canada’s universities, including Queen’s,” says Principal Woolf. “Integrating an international dimension into a university’s academic mission has the potential to enhance the student learning experience and help prepare graduates with globally relevant skills and knowledge. For Queen’s, internationalization is also vital to building our research prominence and raising our profile abroad.”

The AUCC survey showed a remarkable growth in the number of universities offering international degree programs, with 81 per cent offering collaborative academic programs with international partners. That is up from 48 per cent in 2006, the last time the internationalization survey was conducted.

The survey estimates that there are 89,000 full-time international undergraduates studying in Canada and a further 44,000 in full-time graduate programs. It also asked about programs that send students abroad and found that nearly 97 per cent of universities offer study abroad opportunities for its students, however only about 10 to 12 per cent of students actually take advantage of these opportunities.

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