Reception for Queen Elizabeth Scholars
Rideau Hall, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Welcome, all of you, to Rideau Hall for this celebration of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program.
As I near the end of my mandate, I find myself reflecting upon the last seven years, and one of the highlights has been the rise and success of this program.
International education, as you all know, is dear to my heart. I had the great privilege of studying abroad, and it was one of the most defining experiences of my life.
Yesterday, we hosted a meeting here with a study group that developed a Global Education Report.
This is an issue that speaks directly to your own experiences. Eighty per cent of QES scholars leave Canada to study abroad, and the other twenty per cent are students that come to Canada. And the benefits are clear to all who participate.
The findings of the report will help us encourage more Canadians to study abroad and more people to invest in programs like this one.
The QES was one of the successful programs highlighted in the report as a good example of stakeholders coming together to achieve success.
It is a model that we can be proud of as we look at the possibilities of getting more students and scholars out into the world.
It’s so important that we do. As the report clearly states: “global learning is a national imperative.”
All of you have done your part since the program was launched in 2012 to honour Her Majesty The Queen’s 60th year on the Throne.
I’m so proud of all that has been accomplished!
Consider the numbers:
- To date, 832 university students from 39 universities have participated.
- That number will reach 1 500 by March 2018.
- And it’s anticipated to reach nearly 2 200 by 2019.
As supporters of this program you deserve much praise for the work you’ve done to promote the QES platform, and the global partnerships and innovative scholarship it fosters.
With the continued leadership of the Rideau Hall Foundation and our QES partners, I’m confident the program will continue to grow to strengthen Canada and its place in the world.
I would also like to offer my deepest thanks to the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, who has been part of this since the beginning and who was instrumental in the earliest days of QES.
Mr. Chrétien, this program would not exist without your engagement and leadership. Can I ask you to say a few words about what this program has meant to you?