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New Canadian HE centre sets global ambitions

The centre is based at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Photo: OISE.

One of the first research reports expected from the centre is an evaluation of Ontario's international student recruitment strategy

The centre, based at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, will facilitate an expansion of policy research between Canada and other countries, both through Canadian participation in international surveys and in attracting scholars from abroad to work on higher education issues that cut across multiple jurisdictions, according to its inaugural director, Creso Sá.

“I want to look back two years from now and be able to say we have situated ourselves as the natural go-to place for a conversation about higher education”

“I want to look back two years from now and be able to say we have situated ourselves as the natural go-to place for a conversation about higher education, both in Canada and internationally,” commented Sá.

One of the first research reports expected from the centre this spring is an evaluation of the international student recruitment strategy of Ontario, Canada’s largest province, compared to the UK, Australia and the two American states, New York and California, that draw large numbers of overseas students.

Another project, currently awaiting funding, would assess the impact of more than a dozen science and technology bilateral partnerships between Canada and China and Canada and Brazil.

As Canada’s education research leader since the 1970s, OISE has international name recognition for teacher training and the work of globally known researchers on elementary and secondary school reform, including former dean Michael Fullan. Less known, despite the international work of individual professors, including current interim OISE dean Glen Jones, is OISE’s research presence in higher education.

“It is a very well-kept secret,” said Sá, a former Fulbright Scholar who joined OISE as a professor of higher education 10 years ago.

“We wanted to address the visibility,” he said of the rationale to bring 300 graduate students and 11 faculty (already at OISE) under one roof at the centre.

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