Co-op education filling skills gap . . .
As reported by Maclean’s, Ontario’s University of Waterloo is helping Indonesia to cope with a particular challenge related to climate change by building the capacity of the country’s workforce to assess risk for insurance purposes. According to Maclean’s, Indonesia has a shortage of trained actuaries – people who measure and manage risk and uncertainty – and more Indonesian students are now studying in Waterloo’s actuarial sciences program. Further, the university has exported its co-operative education model – in which students integrate work experience into their studies – in Indonesia through a partnership with several Indonesian post-secondary institutions. The Canadian government, Manulife Financial, and Sun Life Financial are financially supporting the program.
Following the leader . . .
The Waterloo initiative is an example of what the Canadian federal government is hoping to achieve through its new international education strategy. In August, Ottawa announced a commitment of C$148 million over five years to encourage Canadian students to gain new skills through studying and working abroad in “key global markets, especially Asia”; to diversify the source countries of Canada’s international students; and, to support Canadian education institutions to export services abroad.
Canadian students ready and willing . . .
According to Universities Canada, just three per cent of Canadian university students participate in ‘outbound mobility’ programs, and most who do choose destinations such as Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. But according to APF Canada’s 2018 National Opinion Poll, 72 per cent of Canadians feel there should be more support for co-op programs for Canadian students in Asia. And two-thirds (67%) of Canadians aged 18-24 in our 2017 poll said they were willing to work in Asia to advance their careers. Canada’s universities and colleges should take advantage of this support from Ottawa to expand their co-op programs in Asia.