When Danish students and faculty consider a stay abroad, North America is high on the wishlist.
VIA’s students in design, business, teaching and health sciences are increasingly seeking opportunities for internships and exchange in countries like the US, Canada and Australia.
Canada is a good match
In 2013, VIA decided to focus on select countries when looking for partner institutions.
"Canada was obvious for several reasons. Firstly, many of the country's educational programmes match the ones we offer, such as within teaching and business. Secondly, VIA already had good contacts in Canada from various projects. And thirdly, Canada is less courted than the United States," says Tina Lisberg Bundgaard, senior advisor at VIA International and responsible for the Canadian venture.
Agreements require perseverance
Meetings, meetings and more meetings. That’s the recipe for success for getting concrete agreements in house, says Tina Lisberg Bundgaard, who has lived in Canada for 7 years and has a master's degree from the University of Alberta.
"We have spent much time visiting partners in Canada and inviting them to visit us. The aim has been to get faculty together to discuss opportunities," she says adding that once you get through to one university, it is easier to get through the door to the next.
Among VIA’s new partners are Humber College and Ryerson University in Ontario and Kwantlen Polytechnic, University of Northern British Columbia and University of Victoria are partners in British Columbia.
The partnership agreements are currently at different stages.
“For some, we already have agreements on exchange and development of joint activities, including research. With others VIA has signed general agreements that have to be worked out," says Tina Lisberg Bundgaard.
VIA involves ministeries
Bilateral agreements between Denmark’s and Canada's Education Ministries and Agencies play an important role in opening doors – and VIA plays an active role in bringing those authorities together.
"Framework agreements strengthen our ability to make exciting partnerships – especially because the universities of applied sciences do not have the same level of international cooperation that universities have," VIA’s senior advisor says.
For more information
Tina Lisberg Bundgaard
Senior Advisor, VIA International
T: +45 87 55 15 04
Selected partnerships in Canada
Humber College, Toronto
- General partnership agreement
- Visit from Humber College in September 2015
Ryerson University, Toronto
- General partnership agreement
British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE)
- Political "partner" – gateway to universities in British Columbia
- Meeting with Agency for Higher Education for the conclusion of a framework agreement between Denmark and Canada for the university of applied sciences
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia
- General partnership agreement, one of Canada’s largest universities within applied sciences
- Exchange agreement (4 students)
Capilano University, North Vancouver (potential)
- Broad partnership on education within pedagogy, design and film
University of Victoria, British Columbia (potential)
- Partnership with VIA’s health education programmes, for example, the English Global Nutrition and Health programme, and teacher education
University of Northern British Columbia (potential)
- The exchange of knowledge and partnership on activities in China
- Research and development within such areas as water, environment, social entrepreneurship and globalisation
- Exchange of students and the creation of double-degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy and social work