Western U president aims to boost profile of Canadian education in trip to China

February 8, 2012

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Western University (formerly UWO) president Amit Chakma, who joins Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his trip to China in his role as chair of the expert advisory panel to Canada's international education strategy, says he plans to meet with education partners in China, learn about the nation's overall economic situation and its perception of Canada, visit schools and campuses where there are Canadian partnerships, and see what is and isn't working for other countries, such as the UK and Australia. Chakma says the panel has completed consultations with stakeholders in Canada and will make a trip later this month to China and India with the goal to meet with local embassies. One of the panel's challenges is trying to convince people that internationalization is important for students, says Chakma, adding that the strategy is not going to work if the focus is solely on bringing more international students to Canada. "It's not about bringing international students, but the internationalization of the education sector overall." Globe and Mail