Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
Canadian Education Centre Network. 1995-2009 (RIP)
Dead Walking ? CECN in, or out, of business?
Overseas, Overwhelmed Summer Publication Schedule
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Canadian Education Centre Network. 1995-2009 (RIP)
On July 1st, Canada Day, Canada’s network of education centres closed its doors around the world – forever. The Canadian Education Centre Network (CECN) is broke and gone.
Founded as the CECN in 1995, but existing previously as part of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, for years the CECN received tens of millions of dollars in Canadian federal government money to promote Canadian education around the world. The two main funding agencies, Canada’s international trade agency (DFAIT) and Canada’s international aid agency (CIDA) – stopped giving monies a few years ago. The CECN could never make a go of it on its own, and earlier this year needed a half million dollar government bail out to keep it afloat. It lasted a few more months, and sunk.
Apart from its employees, some suppliers (who have been paid), and a handful of Canadian colleges and language schools (mostly private ones), few will miss the CECN. While it accrued many debts, it was not able to accrue many friends. Very few of Canada’s leading education brands – its best known and branded universities – partook in CECN services. In fact, several of the key international recruiting directors at Canada’s top universities spoke of the CECN with vitriol. As a result, most universities broke away to do their own recruiting, and even an American organization became the flagship for many of the key international outreach initiatives for many Canadian universities.
Inside many Canadian diplomatic missions abroad, there were rarely kind words for the CECN. In the education marketplaces overseas, the CECN was mostly unknown, and was often blamed for Canada’s poor record in international student recruiting. Defenders will say the CECN required even more funding. Detractors respond stating the organization was not accessible, lacked leadership, and rarely exhibited the work ethic of its more successful competitors from other nations.
Future CECN events, such as Education Fairs planned in Asia and its annual conference in Canada in November, are all cancelled. At present it is uncertain if any monies will be refunded to its institution members who have paid annual fees and for future events. The timing of the closure also means that students around the world who had used CECN assistance to go to Canada for studies this September, will find the former network’s doors closed to them, just weeks before classes start.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Dead Walking ? CECN in, or out, of business ?
A great deal of confusion is splashing up around the world in the wake of the quick closure of the CECN. The news has shocked some, and is seemingly ignored by others.
In her email letter to CECN member institutions, entitled, Closure of CEC Network – Effective June 30, 2009, President and CEO of the Canadian Education Centre Network, Ms. Joanne Uyede writes:
”In light of the Network¹s very serious financial situation, the Board of Directors is faced with no other option but to cease all operations in Canada and overseas, effective June 30, 2009. The Board of Directors and senior management very much regret this turn of events and the fact that this Canadian organization will no longer be in a position to make an important contribution to Canada¹s economic and social development.”
However when contacted by Higher-Edge, the CECN Brazil office Manager in Sao Paolo said on July 1st that the shut down is only a temporary suspension. Their website in Portuguese confirms the announcement of a suspension:http://www.studycanada.ca/brazil/
In New Delhi, the Canadian Education Centre Network told Higher-Edge on July 2nd that claims the CECN has closed down is only “a rumour” and continues to book students to come to their offices for appointments for counselling.
The Trade Office of the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, one of Canada’s most important posts promoting Canadian education abroad, was also kept in the dark by the sudden announcement.
There is also confusion whether the cash-strapped CECN has declared bankruptcy. Apparently the organization is trying to raise the funds to pay off creditors and avoid entering in to official receivership.
3) NOTE – Overseas, Overwhelmed Summer Publication Schedule
Please note that Overseas, Overwhelmed moves to its summer publication schedule for the next two months.
Publications will be twice a month, instead of weekly, with publication dates slated for July 15, July 29, August 12 and August 26, before resuming regular weekly issues again on Wednesday, September 9.