The Canadian government launched a new national brand for its international education offering, EduCanada, this week at AIEA’s annual conference in Montreal. A new logo and strapline – A world of possibilities – were unveiled at the event, which will be used in marketing materials and on social media to promote Canada as a world-class study destination.
“[The brand] offers a cohesive national image to help governments, educational institutions, and other partners promote excellent educational opportunities across the country,” Amy Mills, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada (formerly DFATD), the government department responsible for the rebrand, told The PIE News.
“We’re quite excited about the potential this will bring in terms of refreshing the brand”
The branding will be rolled out in the coming months, along with a new EduCanada website to replace the current Education au/in Canada website. It will be used throughout Canada’s network of more than 100 embassies, high commissions, and consulates, all of which promote Canada as a study and research destination.
New promotional materials and tools will also be provided to support more than 200 education events expected to take place in the coming year, and the Council of Ministers of Education, in collaboration with provinces and territories, will promote the unified brand to educational institutions.
Global Affairs has also published a video showcasing what Canada has to offer international students from around the world.
Honing Canada’s brand as an international study destination was one of key the objectives for Global Affairs of the federal International Education Strategy, published in 2012, that aims to more than double the number of overseas students in the country to 450,000 by 2022.
It is hoped that the strategy will provide a more cohesive image for the country overseas, which many institutions have found challenging given the provincial approaches to governance and marketing of international education.
The new name, logo and strapline – A world of possibilities – will take the place of the existing Imagine Canada branding, which has been rolled out to education institutions across Canada over the last few years.
“It was time to freshen things up and give the sector a new look moving forward,” noted Randall Martin, executive director of the BC Council for International Education.
“I think what we’re going to see is a more concerted digital approach or social media campaign, more, better choreographed collateral, initiatives and branding with the provinces,” he predicted.
“We’re quite excited about the potential this will bring in terms of refreshing the brand, along with the new government and the new focus on international education.”
Gonzalo Peralta, executive director of Languages Canada, also welcomed the new branding, saying that it “sends a clear message that Canada is ready to move forward in actively marketing Canada’s offering as a leading language education destination”.
“This new brand will no doubt help to attract the best and brightest international students to Canada,” he told The PIE News.
“We are very excited to see how this new development will impact growth and innovation for the language education sector.”
“I think what we’re going to see is a more concerted digital approach, more, better choreographed collateral, initiatives and branding with the provinces”
Welcoming the new branding, Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, said the new logo and name were developed in collaboration with Canada’s provinces and territories to help boost Canada’s global competitiveness in attracting international students, who act as “ambassadors” for Canada in their home countries.
However, some stakeholders are more cautious in their optimism about the impact the new logo will have.
“I do applaud the efforts of the Canadian government to unify us behind something, even if it is a logo (which is different than a brand),” commented Tina Bax, founder and president of ESL and pathway provider CultureWorks.
Nevertheless, she contended: “But until we can figure out how to deal with the fragmentation caused by education being a provincial mandate, we’re going to struggle to compete with countries that have national education marketing strategies, no matter what our logo looks like.”
The brand was developed by global marketing firm of Ogilvy & Mather, which was awarded a contract of CAN$229,000 by Global Affairs Canada to develop an integrated marketing plan and refreshed brand “following an open and competitive process”, Mills said.