Efforts will be focused on both the inbound and outbound mobility although measures are yet to be explained in granular terms. On the former, actions are promised to attract students, researchers and academics with specialised skills and knowledge by, for instance, making better use of Alberta’s trade offices abroad.
“By attracting top international students and faculty we help to further Alberta’s international reputation and its goals”
“Renewed effort will be made on attracting students to Alberta’s Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, universities, colleges and technical institutes,” states the report.
“Filling the needs and requirements of post secondary institutions will help to meet Alberta’s labour market needs and contribute to Alberta’s economy.”
Regarding outbound mobility, the strategy sets out a goal to instil more Albertan students with a global perspective so they can develop “21st century competencies”. This will involve committing more support to the Inspiring Education plan – which aims to improve cultural and linguistic preparedness for the global economy in the province by 2030. The Alberta Abroad programme, which enables Canadian graduates to work in specific foreign markets to gain relevant experience, will also be prioritised.
While Alberta is not as attractive a study destination as neighbouring British Columbia, it has some 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions and numerous K-12, vocational and English language training institutions. Its post-secondary institutions are active around the world – the University of Alberta, for example, has more than 400 formal teaching, research and student mobility agreements with governments, organisations and collaborating institutions in more than 50 countries.
“Renewed effort will be made on attracting students to Alberta’s Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, universities, colleges and technical institutes”
University president Indira Samarasekera said of the new strategy: “The University of Alberta supports and shares the province’s vision of forging a strong international presence that leads to productive relationships.
“By attracting top international students and faculty to the province, by assisting young Albertans going abroad, and by building strong international research collaborations, we help to further Alberta’s international reputation and its goals.”
While nothing is specifically mentioned about provincial language schools, the Albertan government agreed in March to approve all Languages Canada-accredited schools to use Canada’s national education marketing brand, Imagine Canada.
The move is sure to boost their appeal—currently provinces decide which schools may use the brand, but have differing criteria across the country and can take time granting permission, limiting uptake. So far, less than a third of Languages Canada’s 169 public and private member schools have been approved.