Synergy I

If anybody needed proof that the Canada-India education corridor is heating up, it was present at the Pearson Convention Center when over 100 representatives from High school boards, Colleges and Universities assembled on July 19, 2007 at the C-IBC organized and ICE supported event called “Canada-India: A synergy in education”.

There were 4 power packed sessions such as “Destination India” which focused on institutions currently operating in India, their experiences and the Q&A which followed had questions posed by institutions considering doing so. The Panel discussion was stimulating with key questions addressed by VP’s from York University, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Universite de Montreal, University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier University.

Another exciting session featured the CECN (Canadian Education Center Network) who talked about their work in India followed by a session that introduced ‘Edu-Canada’, a new initiative undertaken by the Federal Govt. to promote Canadian education around the world, particularly India.

The last session was equally rewarding for the participants who had the opportunity to ask questions directly to Immigration representatives who had to defend the low visa approval rates from India. Tremendous work needs to be done collectively to address the somewhat contradictory policies at the Federal level that are mandated to promote Canadian education globally to attract and retain the right talent to consider Canada as an education destination, yet we seem to be far behind countries such as England, Australia & USA. Suspicious paperwork and sometime inconsistent procedures at different missions attribute to the delay or refusal of student visa applications.

The C-IBC Education Committee headed by Husain Neemuchwala of ICE Inc. expressed a commitment to conduct such events in the future that promote healthy dialogues by inviting who’s who in Canadian International education. Some of the notable attendees at this event were representatives from
  • The Asia Pacific Foundation
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • The CECN
  • Shastri Indo Canadian Institute
  • The Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Deptartment of Foreign Affairs
  • The Focus India EWG (Ottawa)
  • Ontario Ministry of Economic Development
  • Industry Trade Canada
The chief guest was the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency R L Narayan who dazzled the participants with his introductory and informative comments about the Indian educational system and challenged us to do more and offered the services of his office in that pursuit.

The agenda of the event was to foster an exchange of ideas through a networking event to further the interests of those currently involved in or contemplating involvement in the education sector in India. An exploration and sharing of opportunities in this burgeoning sector and to create an awareness & highlight each other’s experience about opportunities as well as pitfalls to avoid. It also presented an opportunity for institutions to showcase their programs & accomplishments in India.

When ICE started conducting education fairs back in 2003, they were happy bringing institutions together and connecting them with students and they still continue to do so. However, now that ICE is starting to bring countries together, the feeling and satisfaction is quite different and ICE is excited to be a part of the process.

ICE and C-IBC are also in the planning stages of an India delegation in late Spring 2008 and are in touch with their Indian counterparts for exact dates. More information will be posted on the C-IBC and ICE website in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for exciting times ahead in the dynamic and burgeoning Canada-India education corridor and although we have come a long way, we still have plenty of ground to cover.
This unprecedented event brought together the ‘who’s who’ of Canadian education and established a high benchmark for future such events and the Committee acknowledged the support of Dr. Balbir Sahni who helped put the event together.


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