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Framework of cooperation in higher education, training and youth with Canada

The main objective of this framework of cooperation is to renew, reinforce and extend the programme of cooperation which already exists between the European Community and Canada in the field of higher education and vocational training, in particular by adding measures concerning youth. The aim is to consolidate academic cooperation and transatlantic exchanges between citizens.


Council Decision 2006/964/EC of 18 December 2006 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada establishing a framework for cooperation in higher education, training and youth.


This eight-year agreement forms part of relations between the European Union (EU) and Canada. The partners plan to boost their cooperation in the areas of higher education, vocational training and youth.

The Commission will grant a budget of around EUR 18 million to the cooperation programme in order to support some 210 projects and the involvement of 4 430 European and Canadian citizens in mobility activities during the period of the new agreement.

New and innovative joint studies and new training programmes will be launched, exchanges of students, teachers and other professionals encouraged and collaboration between youth organisations promoted.


This agreement has general, specific and operational objectives.

The general objectives are to promote mutual understanding between the populations of the two partners, in particular by way of their respective languages, cultures and institutions, and to improve the quality of human resources in order to meet the challenges of a knowledge-based global economy.

The specific objectives are to:

  • step up cooperation between the European Community and Canada in higher education, training and youth;
  • contribute to transatlantic exchanges between EU and Canadian citizens;
  • contribute to the development of higher education and training institutions, as well as youth organisations;
  • consolidate partnerships between those involved in higher education, training and youth work in the EU and Canada;
  • support the professional development of individuals while achieving the general objectives of the agreement;
  • increase dialogue and exchanges on youth policy and youth work.

The operational objectives are to:

  • support collaboration between higher education and training institutions with a view to promoting joint study programmes and mobility of students;
  • improve the quality of transatlantic student mobility by promoting transparency, the mutual recognition of qualifications and periods of study and training, and the portability of credits;
  • support collaboration among public and private organisations active in the areas of higher education, training and youth with a view to encouraging discussion and the exchange of experiences;
  • support transatlantic mobility of professionals with a view to improving mutual understanding of issues relevant to EU/Canada relations;
  • support collaboration among youth organisations as well as youth workers and others involved in this field with a view to promoting exchanges of good practices and developing networks.


Three types of action are planned in the new agreement to achieve these objectives: projects carried out by joint consortia, joint activities in favour of young people and complementary actions.

Joint consortia projects

These projects * are intended for higher education and training institutions.

They support multilateral partnerships between institutions in at least two Member States of the EU and at least two Canadian provinces or territories in order to set up joint study programmes.

In principle, these projects should normally involve transatlantic mobility of students in the framework of joint study programmes, with a goal of parity in the flows in each direction, and should provide for mutual credit recognition and linguistic and cultural preparation.

Financial support for student mobility may also be granted to joint consortia of higher education and vocational training institutions that have a proven track record of excellence in the implementation of joint projects funded by the two partners.

Joint activities in favour of young people

This action concerns youth organisations, youth leaders and other actors in this sector.

The activities may include seminars, training courses and work observation visits. They will relate to, amongst others, the following subjects:

  • citizens' rights;
  • cultural diversity;
  • social or voluntary work;
  • the recognition of non-formal and informal training.

Complementary actions

The agreement provides for three complementary actions:

  • policy-orientated measures. The target public of this action is organisations involved in higher education, training and youth. Activities under this category include studies, conferences, seminars, working groups and comparative assessments. They will touch on questions relating to higher education, vocational training and youth, promoting dialogue on the recognition of qualifications and the portability of credits within the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS);
  • mobility grants. The action concerns professionals, including those in training, who want to study or follow training programmes in sectors with particular relevance to relations between the two partners;
  • an alumni association. This action concerns students who have participated in exchanges organised by the joint consortia in the areas of higher education and vocational training. The association may be managed by one or more organisations appointed by the parties.


The agreement creates a joint committee comprising representatives from each party. It meets every two years, alternately in the EU and in Canada. Its decisions are reached by consensus, and it has the following functions:

  • reviewing the cooperation envisaged under the agreement;
  • presenting to the parties the level, status and effectiveness of the cooperation under the agreement;
  • sharing information on recent developments, policies, new trends or innovative practices related to higher education, training and youth.

The cooperation will be monitored and evaluated in order to fine-tune the cooperation activities, if necessary, in line with any new needs.

Financing will be on the basis of an overall matching of funds between the partners. Moreover, the European Community will provide support to the European Community project partners, and Canada will support the Canadian partners.


The EU and Canada have had a cooperation programme in higher education and vocational training since 1995. The aim of this programme is to create joint study programmes and to set up exchanges of students over a wide range of disciplines.

The agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada setting up a programme of cooperation in the field of higher education and training was renewed in 2001 for five years (2000-2005). This agreement renews it for a further period of eight years and adds to it cooperation in the field of youth.

Key terms used in the act
  • Consortium: collaboration between several parties in a joint project or programme with the aim of achieving a result.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/964/EC

The first day of the month following notification
(1 March 2007)


OJ L 397, 30.12.2006


Council Decision of 2001/197/EC of 26 February 2001 concerning the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada renewing a cooperation programme in higher education and training [Official Journal L71, 13 March 2001].

Last updated: 03.05.2007

See also

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