Canada announces new scholarship program for ASEAN

News Release

August 6, 2017 - Manila, Philippines - Global Affairs Canada

Canada is committed to combatting poverty and promoting human rights in Southeast Asia, especially the rights of women, girls and migrants. Canada is working closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to bring the benefits of economic development to the poorest and most marginalized.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, that Canada will provide $10 million over five years for post-secondary students and mid-career professionals from Southeast Asia to access world-class education in Canada. The Minister made the announcement at the Canada-ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference in Manila, Philippines.

The Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development initiative will provide individuals from ASEAN member states, especially women, the opportunity to apply for short-term studies or research in Canada. Scholarships will be awarded in fields that contribute to ASEAN’s efforts to narrow the development gap and reduce poverty in Southeast Asia, such as climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, public financial management, and sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.


“Canada welcomes with open arms students from ASEAN. Providing educational exchanges to these promising young people will empower them and ensure they can be real agents of social and economic change in their communities and countries. Their contributions to Canadian classrooms will also enrich the experience of their peers and are a vital part of Canada’s multicultural society.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“This brand new ASEAN scholarship scheme with support from Canada is a very timely initiative as we exert efforts to promote quality higher education and human capital development, which are key to ASEAN growth and priorities in the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020. This initiative also provides opportunities for our ASEAN universities to network with Canadian institutions, thus allowing technology transfer, especially in the area of quality assurance in higher education.”

- Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN

Quick Facts

  • Canada has been an ASEAN dialogue partner since 1977, one of only 10 countries with this important level of partnership.

  • In 2014, almost 12,000 students from ASEAN were enrolled in Canada, representing a strong and growing interest in Canada’s educational institutions. 

  • Canada partners with ASEAN on a wide range of issues, from tackling climate change to counterterrorism. Ongoing cooperation with ASEAN since 2011 is valued at over $90 million.

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Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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