Outbound mobility “vital tool” for Canada’s future

A “carefully crafted and adequately funded” strategy to more than double the number of Canadian students abroad has been proposed in a report released by the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy.

The Global Education for Canadians report, which compares the outbound mobility of students from major destinations as part of their undergraduate program, found Canada sat ahead of only the UK, with 11% of its domestic students going overseas.

Without action, the report argued, the current level of students going abroad threatens to push Canada further behind other countries, with fewer citizens having international experiences and connections, leaving it unprepared for future challenges.

“By building global networks and relationships that will strengthen Canada’s voice and influence in the world; by expanding Canada’s knowledge and reach in new, fast-growing markets; by succeeding as workers and entrepreneurs in a changing workplace and economy; and by becoming champions of diversity and inclusion at home and abroad.”

To promote these goals, the report outlined a national initiative, Go Global Canada, to support 15,000 students to study abroad per year over five years, with an ambition to double to 30,000 within 10.

Outward mobility has made headlines recently, with a US report finding 11 out of 15 “21st century workplace skills” were gained through an experience overseas.