Universities Canada welcomed leaders from 36 Moroccan and 25 Canadian institutions, in a bid to “facilitate knowledge-sharing and establish a collaborative environment for long-term partnerships”.

Also joining the one-day event on May 25, was Nell Stewart, ambassador of Canada to Morocco, Souriya Otmani, ambassador of Morocco to Canada, as well as Arif Virani, parliamentary secretary to the Canadian minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade.

“Canada and Morocco have a long-standing relationship and Universities Canada and its members understand the importance of fostering and deepening those relationships with international partners,” Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, said in a statement.

Morocco is a country that is a focus for both Universities Canada and the federal government’s International Education Strategy.

“This mission was an opportunity to develop and strengthen connections with our Moroccan counterparts”

Other priority countries in the 2019 strategy – which the government said would be adjusted regularly, based on need and relevant international student statistics – include: Brazil; Colombia; France; Indonesia; Mexico; the Philippines; Thailand; Turkey; Ukraine; and Vietnam.

“This mission was an opportunity to develop and strengthen connections with our Moroccan counterparts, while setting the stage for long-term collaboration,” Davidson added.

One initiative that the two countries hope will strengthen partnership is the new $95m Global Skills Opportunity program for outbound Canadian students.

Brock University, the University of Ottawa and York University will be launching four projects with Morocco as a destination.

“Morocco and Canada have a strong partnership and this trade mission was an important opportunity to identify new areas for collaboration,” Virani said.

“Our government recognises the importance of education as a driving force for international trade diversification and the future prosperity of our countries as outlined in the government of Canada’s International Education Strategy.”

The digital mission is part of a series of initiatives between the two countries aiming to strengthen their partnership, Universities Canada added.

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