Representatives from 30 prestigious schools and universities in Canada will be coming to Qatar from October 21-23 to explore various opportunities in collaboration with other educational institutions in the country, as well as meeting prospective students, Canada's new ambassador Stefanie McCollum has said.
The envoy told Gulf Times that the upcoming Canadian University tour aims to further strengthen the relations between the two countries in the area of education.
“The delegates will be looking at schools which are already well established in Qatar for their positive experience to help them explore future opportunities,” McCollum said, adding that the visit will involve close collaborations with universities in Qatar which have similar interest programmes.
The tour, she noted, also serves as a platform for student exchanges between Qatar and Canada.
Like in previous years, the 2018 tour aims to promote Canadian universities and is organised with the support of Qatar’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education and in partnership with the College of the North Atlantic – Qatar.
Parents and students in Qatar who are considering an education abroad will have the chance to meet with representatives from universities to learn about education in Canada.
The tour, McCollum added, is also an opportunity for the embassy to promote Canada as an education destination, expressing optimism that the number of Qataris studying in Canada will continue to increase in the future.
“We need to be able to articulate how lovely the cities are, they are all consistently ranked some of the best places to live, play, work, and study,” she noted. “Canada’s educational institutions are internationally respected for their diplomas, degrees, and certifications.”
Citing the “warm and strong relationship” between the two countries, McCollum said they are also keen to continue and further expand their co-operation in the area of culture.
“Culture hasn’t been an area of focus but I don’t see why we couldn’t explore these opportunities come up certainly when there are Canadian cultural signature events in the region,” she stressed.
In March 2017, the embassy brought to Doha a renowned Canadian band, ‘Les Portageux,’ to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, and as part of the Francophone week in Qatar.
The second performance of famous Canadian singer, composer and producer, Bryan Adams, in Doha also took place in the same month, enthralling a huge crowd at Grand Hyatt Doha.
As the focus now shifts from Russia to Qatar for the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the envoy said many Canadians are working with various organisations and institutions, particularly in infrastructure, which are getting ready for the high number of people who will be coming for this prestigious tournament.
“We have some expertise that we can lend and we’ll also probably be looking to learn from the experience here, learn from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy on how they organise themselves and how they prepare to receive that influx of people,” noted McCollum, citing Canada, along with the US and Mexico, as host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Stefanie McCollum, is a career public servant with a variety of management experience gained over 27 years.
She worked in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Secretary of State, Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada in 2005.
From 2005-2016 she led both the Management and Consular Services programmes in Canada’s offices abroad in San Francisco, Cairo, Bucharest and Sao Paulo.
In 2016, she returned to Ottawa to serve as Global Affairs Canada’s Director of Emergency Operations. In this role, she led the Emergency Watch and Response Centre, which operates 24/7 to provide assistance to Canadian citizens in distress abroad, and to monitor and respond to international events and crises that affect Canada’s interest internationally.
In 2017, she added to her portfolio the role of Director of MCO Renewal, which looks to support the Management and Consular Officer (MCO) community of Foreign Service professionals in Global Affairs Canada.
In September, 2018, she was appointed Canada’s ambassador to Qatar. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and is married with two children.
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