IMAGINE: Canada as a leader in international education. How can Canada benefit from the Australian experience?
Hosting international students has long been admired as one of the hallmarks of internationalization. The two major formative strands of internationalization in Canadian universities are development cooperation and international students. With reduced public funding for higher education, institutions are aggressively recruiting international students to generate additional revenue. Canada is equally interested in offering incentives for international students to stay in the country as immigrants after completing their studies. In its 2011 budget, the Canadian federal government earmarked funding for an international education strategy and, in 2010, funded Edu-Canada—the marketing unit within the Department of Education and Foreign Affairs (DFAIT)—to develop an official Canadian brand to boost educational marketing, IMAGINE: Education in/au Canada. This model emulates the Australian one, which rapidly capitalized on the recruitment of international students and became an international success story. Given current Canadian higher education policy trends, this paper will address the cautionary lessons that can be drawn from the Australian case.