By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 3 March 2014:
With Canada looking to double its intake of international students, the Canadian embassy in Libya came . . .[restrict]up with a modern idea – a Virtual Education Mission.
The two-day mission was a way to put key players in Libyan ministries and organisations in touch with Canadian institutions, to explore prospective education and training opportunities, via video and teleconference.
Six Libyan ministries, including the Education, Communication, Transport and Electricity Ministries, and two Libyan universities participated, along with 13 Canadian universities, colleges and educational organisations.
The first day was aimed at helping Canadian participants understand the varied training needs of Libyan organisations. This informed the second day, which focused on outlining the capabilities and courses offered by the Canadian institutions.
“We are here to tell people what we have to offer and we have a lot to offer in terms of educational services,” acting Canadian ambassador, Chargé d`Affaires Denis Thibault, told the Libya Herald.
“This programme was a new initiative aimed at improving cooperation between Libya and Canada in the areas of education and training,” he said. “Canadian universities and colleges are well-regarded at the international level, and we look forward to welcoming more Libyan students into our schools.”
Human Resources Manager at the Libyan Ministry of Oil & Gas, Najeeb Alathram, said the mission was a useful framework for strengthening relations and closer ties between Canadian education and training institutions and Libya. It supported efforts to develop an understanding on a vision for Libyan-Canadian training co-operation, he added.
Universities of British Columbia, Alberta and Victoria were represented, as were a number of English language centres and the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), which is responsible for managing the Libyan government’s Libyan-North American Scholarship Program for both US and Canada-bound students.
After the event, vice-president of international partnerships for CBIE, Basel Alashi, said: “CBIE appreciates the Canadian Embassy’s initiative in virtually bringing together potential partners and education sector stakeholders from Canada and Libya to discuss cooperation and potential opportunities.”
There were already nearly 700 Libyan students studying in institutions in Canada through the Libyan North American Scholarship Programme, Alashi said. “This mission can serve to strengthen educational links between our two countries,” he added.
Canada wants to double the number of foreign students and researchers enrolled at its universities to 450,000 by 2020, Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast announced in January. With this in mind, Thibault said, the Embassy looked forward to working with the Libyan government to find ways to enhance the Canada-Libya relationship in the area of education and training. [/restrict]