The new Education Brand for Canada: DFAIT/CMEC Collaborative Arrangement Jean-Philippe Tachdjian, Deputy Director Edu-Canada: International Education Promotion Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada (DFAIT)
FACT: Canada has fallen from 5th to 14th place as an international study destination while the numbers of international students continues to rise.
No existing international brand for Canadian education
No coordinated marketing strategy
Little government support at promotion
Canadian missions abroad lack collective direction
“ ...With no identifiable pan-Canadian policy leadership... progress in the promotion of educational exports has been difficult. Therefore, some policy body—most likely the re-merged Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade— should be mandated to coordinate a cohesive, proactive Canadian approach to branding and promoting Canadian education services abroad. The Trade Commissioner Service and science and technology counsellors in Canada’s embassies should be fully engaged, and objectives set.” ( Conference Board of Canada Report: Opportunity Begins at Home, April 2006.) Why is Canada doing so poorly?
The Government has made a commitment to the promotion of Canada as a study destination in the Advantage Canada Strategy. To realize this commitment, DFAIT proposed the “Edu-Canada Initiative” , a strategy to better align a fragmented education sector, enhance Canada’s profile abroad and increase the number of international students attending Canadian universities and colleges.
The Edu-Canada Initiative was integrated in the Global Commerce Strategy and approved by Cabinet.
In Budget 2007 , DFAIT was given the mandate to launch a marketing campaign, including the creation of a Brand for Canadian education abroad and specifically directs DFAIT to build on existing partnerships with provincial and private partners.
Joint Federal-Provincial governance of the Education Brand for Canada
Since April 2007, DFAIT, OGD’s and provincial Ministries of Education through CMEC, have worked closely through the Federal-Provincial Consultative Committee on Education-Related Activities (FPCCERIA) to create, develop and manage the Education Brand;
In May 2008, after months of discussions and negotiations with provincial governments and extensive consultations with stakeholders, Deputy Ministers of Education of all ten provinces approved by consensus the proposed Pan-Canadian Education Brand , with the understanding that the Brand shall be jointly managed by DFAIT and CMEC Secretariat ;
On June 23rd, MINT approved of the Education Brand for Canada concept and the principle of joint governance of the Brand by DFAIT on behalf of the Federal government, and by CMEC, on behalf of the provinces (see Memo attached);
The Education Brand efforts has been highlighted with the new PhD Vanier Scholarships’ launch on September 2th.
On September 22, in Fredericton, the Ministers of Education officially launched the Education Brand for Canada.
FPCCERIA is a Committee created under a Memorandum of Understanding between DFAIT and CMEC;
FPCCERIA created a Brand Working group with the mandate to develop and manage the Education Brand for Canada;
DFAIT and CMEC have created a shared Work plan:
DFAIT and CMEC are responsible for Brand development
DFAIT is responsible for Brand Marketing
CMEC is responsible for Brand Management
Both DFAIT and CMEC have financially invested in the Education Brand initiative
OWNERSHIP OF THE BRAND :
DFAIT and CMEC explored the option of shared ownership. However, under Canadian intellectual property laws, only one organization may own the Brand;
DFAIT will therefore give a Master license to CMEC with the same rights of use and the possibility to lease the Brand to third parties (such as education institutions and associations). In effect, this makes CMECco-owner of the Brand.
1) The Education Brand for Canada is a shared Brand approach . It is not designed to represent any single entity, program or initiative . It represents the delivery of educational services in Canada to prospective international students.
2) Education being a provincial jurisdiction , there is a consensus from Federal parties and Provinces to limit the use of the Brand to institutions recognized by provincial governments in the first phase of the Brand’s use, to reinforce the assurance of quality education .
3) Excellence and the quality of the educational services being provided is an integral part of the identity being conveyed by the Education Brand.
4) A Brand Management Policy will ensure that only those institutions and organizations that represent them will be eligible to use the Brand as they represent excellence and provide assurance of quality .
5) Provinces/territories, through CMEC, will have the authority to decide on which institutions and organizations that can use the Brand.
6) DFAIT would have the responsibility of using the Brand to promote Canada as a study destination through its network of embassies and consulates abroad.
A Branding company ( Bang Marketing ) was selected through a competitive process.
Bang prepared a positioning analysis of Canada as a study destination for international students , and proposed a Brand essence which was approved by consensus by all partners and stakeholders.
Bang developed four Brand concepts which were tested with actual and prospective international students and with Canadian stakeholders.
Following these consultations, FPCCERIA retained the Brand platform, "Imagine” with the most recognizable and therefore most efficient visual identity, a stylized red maple leaf, and the name " Education in/au Canada ".
The platform also offers the opportunity for thematic and provincial adaptation.
Education Brand Promises We promise to provide you with guidance and with the knowledge and tools you need to develop to your full future potential, while affirming the person you are today. You will be proud of your Canadian credentials, they are a recognized passport that will open doors for you worldwide…. We guarantee a unique cultural experience in safe, diverse and exceptionally beautiful surroundings .
Education Brand challenge Becoming an alternative to the current market leaders (the U.K. and U.S.), i.e. occupy Australia’s current position How can we meet it strategically? We have to offer foreign students more than just the promise of a high-quality (i.e. Western-style) education – this isn’t a differentiator. We need to create a personal proposition through student-focused communication.