High-profile representatives, faculty, scholars and postdoctoral fellows visit Ontario universities each year to expand upon or explore prospective partnerships with institutions worldwide. Likewise, Ontario university delegations go abroad to build new international relationships. A 2014 survey by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) found 81 per cent of Canadian universities offer collaborative academic programs with international partners, and 72 per cent engage in initiatives to internationalize their curriculums. Delegations form an important part of the relationship-building and strategic planning required to make these academic expansions possible.
Jiangsu Province, China
In November 2014, COU coordinated a visit for a delegation of eight Vice-Presidents of Research, joined by government representatives, of the Jiangsu province in China. The delegates visited five Ontario universities, including the University of Toronto, McMaster, Ryerson, Waterloo and UOIT, and met with representatives from the Ontario Council of University Research and the Ontario government. Ontario and Jiangsu universities have growing numbers of partnerships involving joint degrees, research partnership and student and faculty exchanges.
In December 2014, representatives from seven Ontario universities and COU embarked on a relationship-building mission to Turkey to forge new partnerships in research and academic programs, and to strengthen existing ones.
The 10-person delegation met with representatives from about 10 Turkish universities, research councils and government. Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Research and Innovation, joined the delegation in Ankara, the Turkish capital, and gave a keynote speech in Istanbul at a meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board.