INTERVIEW: ABINA DANN, Canada’s current Consul General in Sao Paulo
Discover Brazil – How does Canada perceive being turned into the main international destination for Brazilian students?
Abina Dann – Canada is honoured to be chosen by Brazilians as a main destination for study abroad. Canada is the number one destination for Brazilians wanting to study English as a second language, and is second only to France for the study of French, with more than 20,000 students in Canada for six months or less in 2011.
DB – Why, even bearing this comfortable position, is Canada looking for more Brazilian students?
Abina Dann – Canada considers international education a pillar in fostering strong economic ties, building human capacity and strengthening people-to-people bilateral relations in today’s global economy. During Prime Minister trip to Brazil last year with International Trade Ed Fast, he indicated that he looked forward to welcoming Brazilian students to Canada who wish to take advantage of Canada’s high quality education programs and research excellence.
Attracting more international students and researchers to Canada creates jobs and economic growth, grow our people to people ties in priority markets, help produce a more skilled workforce and foster closer ties between Canadian and international education institutions.
DB – How did the governor-general’s mission with leaders from many Canadian universities to Brazil become the biggest one in history?
Abina Dann – Canada is a world leader in education, and our learning will only be strengthened by our partnerships with Brazil. Brazil’s expertise in science, technology, innovation and culture are of notable interest to Canadians.
The federal government recently formed a panel of experts to advise it on developing and implementing an international education strategy. The panel will set down the steps the government must take to attract the best and brightest international students to Canada, strengthen Canada’s engagement with emerging nations, expand the delivery of Canadian expertise, knowledge and education services abroad, and promote partnerships between Canadian and international education institutions.
The Governor General and delegation of university presidents identified areas of synergy between the two countries to determine how we can continue to work together in areas such as education and science and technology.
DB – How do you evaluate the results of the mission?
Abina Dann – The delegation of university presidents, led by the Governor-General, has yielded tangible results with regard to strengthened ties between Canadian and Brazilian institutions. Several agreements were signed during the visit, which will strengthen our already close ties in the field of education.
For more information on his mission, please visit http://www.gg.ca