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IT’S ITALY, MIUR & ITS in Canada

Discovering best practices and new synergies to promote excellences and Industry 4.0

A mission to Canada composed of senior officials from the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities & Research (MIUR), Indire (National Institute of Documentation for Innovation and Educational Research) and ten delegates from Higher Technological Institutes/ Istituti Tecnici Superiori (ITS) took place from 11-16 June 2017. The delegation, including Trade Commissioner of the Embassy of Canada to Italy, traveled to Toronto for a one-week programme hosted by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the non-profit Canadian association that brings together 130 Colleges and Institutes of the country, providing highly professional post-secondary education to over one million Canadian students for over 50 years.

A week full of workshops, site visits and meetings aimed at enhancing leadership skills of ITS Presidents, many of whom are part of the National Board of Directors, and promoting partnerships with Canadian colleges to facilitate mobility and research activities for students from both sides of the ocean.

"For Italy’s ITS system it is very important to learn about professional training systems such as the Canadian system, which have a greater background, are richer in experience and years of work", said Undersecretary at MIUR Gabriele Toccafondi. "Directly learning about other experiences is very useful in becoming more aware of the strengths of our system and in modifying those aspects that have emerged as weaknesses over the years. ITS is a winning model that has proven to work, but one that we would like to improve and become more acquainted with. In fact, influences with foreign realities can only enrich and improve our system".

Delegation group 

"The mission was a win-win experience for both Canada and Italy", underlined Louis Saint-Arnaud, Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada to Italy. "Canada was able to showcase its wealth of skills and abilities to grow and develop the tertiary education sector, that each year educates hundreds of thousands of students for a rapid and effective integration into a highly competitive and skilled workforce. At the same time, we found strong interest on the Canadian side for the Made in Italy excellences and the ITS Industry 4.0 experimentation."

Carmela Palumbo, Director of the DG Ordinamenti at MIUR, also expressed her complete satisfaction with the mission. "Institutional relations with Canada, formalized with several agreements are important as useful stimulus to the growth of our training system. It is a cultural exchange that enriches both countries. In particular, as for as  ITS is concerned, the fifty-year experience of Colleges and Institutes in Canada represents a reference model from which our system, which is six years old, can only acquire useful elements for its development. In comparing the two systems, we also confirmed that we are aligned with the path we are following and the enormous potential of our training content; an important feedback which strengthens our commitment and determination to further develop this sector".

"Canada represents a mature experience that projected us in to the near future", confirmed Alessandro Mele, coordinator of the ITS National Board of Directors. "The Italian system needs to grow faster and consolidate and institutionalized itself. We learned from Canada’s 50 years of experience, but we came back more certain about the extraordinary potential of our system".

The Italian delegation visited the facilities of Niagara College, Seneca College, Centennial College, and George Brown College, and met with representatives of other colleges active in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, the delegation was received by Consul General, Giuseppe Pastorelli of the Italian Consulate in Toronto, who stressed the importance of economic and commercial relations especially the strong ties of friendship that always keeps unites the two countries.

In the context of already existing strong ties, Canada and Italy are now starting a new partnership in the field of professional tertiary education, a vital engine for progress and industrial relaunch.

For further information:

Embassy of Canada
Public Affairs and external relations office

Public Affairs office

July 4th, 2017



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