Presidents of 15 Canadian universities embark on a seven-day mission to India on Monday to woo students from the second fastest growing nation in the world.
It is the biggest mission to India by Canadian educational institutions after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on higher education during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit in June.
Though more than 150,000 Indian students go abroad for higher education each year, Canada gets only about 3,000 annually.
Thus, Indian students account for a fraction of more than 90,000 foreign students who enrolled in Canadian universities last year.
With foreign students paying more than $15,000 in fees each and collectively pumping more than $6.5 billion into the economy, Canada is looking to a big jump in enrollment from India.
Organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the Canadian education mission will travel to Pune and Delhi for meetings with educational institutions, the private sector and administrators to usher in new era in ties in this sector between the two nations.
Its major engagements in India include a roundtable with Indian university presidents, which will also be attended by Indian human resource minister Kapil Sibal and his Canadian counterpart Gary Goodyear.
The mission will also participate in the higher education summit being organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
"This mission is a way for us to get to know India and its needs more deeply - and to make sure that when Indians think of research and higher education, they think of us," said AUCC president Paul Davidson before the mission's departure for India.
"Educators and business people in India need to know that Canadian universities are open to building successful partnerships that will enrich experiences for students, strengthen links between our countries and advance international research collaboration," he said.