University of Lethbridge Vice-President (Research) Dr. Dan Weeks is in Algeria with representatives from 12 other Canadian institutions, participating in a first of its kind colloquium between Canada and Algeria.
Organized by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), the Secretary General of the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MESRS) and senior Canadian government officials, the colloquium objectives are to explore best practices for higher education in both countries, with a focus on quality assurance, research, institutional performance and improving the student experience.
Weeks says many of the U of L’s research strengths have emerged due to economic and social challenges and opportunities in Alberta. Despite the physical distance between Alberta and Algeria, the U of L has the ability to collaborate on issues facing both jurisdictions.
“Oil and gas sectors play an important role in Algeria’s economy, and like in Alberta, create similar challenges,” says Weeks. “The U of L has built important capacity in areas like water, energy, natural sciences and remote sensing that matches well with capacity at Algerian institutions. I believe there are tremendous opportunities to build partnerships that enhance research capacity for both Algeria and our institution.”
The CBIE delegation will meet with Mr. Mohamed Mebarki, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Topics of discussion will include: Government of Algeria’s goals to invest in higher education research, institutional performance and partnerships; current challenges in improving access to postsecondary schooling; and an overview of growing sectors in the country.
Building international connections is a key component of the strategic direction to enhance relationships with external communities found in Destination 2020 - the U of L’s strategic plan.
CBIE is Canada’s national organization dedicated to making Canada a global leader in international education by mobilizing expertise, knowledge, opportunity and leadership. CBIE’s pan-Canadian membership comprises 150 colleges, institutes, universities (including the U of L), school boards and language schools, which enrol over 1.2 million students from coast to coast.
A copy of CBIE’s news release regarding the Algeria-Canada Colloquium can be found at http://www.cbie-bcei.ca/news/education-partnerships-are-main-focus-as-algeria-canada-colloquium-gets-underway/.