The Hub AU provides training for Canada’s international staff

AU provides training for Canada’s international staff

You can get an online education from a Canadian university whether you’re in Ukraine, Trinidad, or Sri Lanka—something several Global Affairs Canada employees are discovering first-hand!

Athabasca University (AU) and the French-language Université TÉLUQ have partnered with Global Affairs Canada to provide additional training for Canada’s international staff.

This partnership will allow the Trade Commissioner Service, in conjunction with the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, to provide Canadian university courses to all staff, whether they’re working in Canada or abroad, via the University Credit Access Program (UCAP).

“At Athabasca University, we understand many students don’t live in the right place, are not the right age, or it’s just not the right time for a traditional university education,” said AU Provost and VP Academic Dr. Matthew Prineas.

“This partnership will mean more Global Affairs employees working abroad can get access to a Canadian university degree no matter where they are in the world, no matter how old they are, right now. I’m proud of this partnership, which is a big win for AU, TÉLUQ, and Global Affairs Canada.”

The English-language courses will be delivered through AU’s distance-learning platform, which is designed to meet the needs of distance learners anywhere in the world and can be completed from any locations where Canada has a mission. TÉLUQ will provide French-language courses.

Global Affairs Canada created UCAP in response to requests from staff who wanted more learning opportunities to meet the needs of staff serving abroad. In particular, locally engaged Trade Commissioners expressed an interest in courses that would help them better understand Canada, its history, culture, political system, and economy.

A selection of courses at AU and TÉLUQ have been identified. At AU, this includes undergraduate-level courses within the Faculty of Business and the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

“Global Affairs personnel abroad are some of the best in the world, and by ensuring they continue to learn and innovate, we are going to keep it that way. Giving our trade commissioners the resources to build on their skills will enable them to better support Canadian businesses to thrive in new markets, so they can create new jobs at home,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.

TÉLUQ, likewise, will see the benefit of this partnership in providing more GAC employees in Canada and abroad with access to French-language university-level courses.

Julie Carle, Director of External Affairs and Secretary General at Université TÉLUQ, said she’s pleased that GAC has partnered with the two leading distance education universities in Canada, in their respective languages, which illustrates GAC’s desire to offer university training combining quality and flexibility.

“I am delighted that our institution, created nearly 50 years ago within the Université du Québec network to increase accessibility to university education, can contribute to the personal and professional development of Global Affairs Canada employees,” she said.

This partnership supports AU’s strategic plan, Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities, as learning opportunities go beyond place, breaking down barriers to access and succeed in a university-level program.

A full list of AU’s programs and courses, which can be taken from nearly anywhere in the world, can be found on our website.


  • April 6, 2020