How Canada’s Faculty Mobility Program Forges Lasting University Partnerships

As a university administrator, developing strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with institutions around the globe is one of your key priorities. However, building connections that stand the test of time requires effort and strategic thinking. Canada’s Faculty Mobility Program provides an innovative model for fostering enduring university collaborations through faculty exchange. By temporarily hosting professors from partner schools and sending your own faculty abroad, this initiative helps to break down cultural and geographical barriers while allowing professors to share knowledge, co-teach, and co-develop curriculum. Over the long run, these meaningful interactions between faculty lay the groundwork for wider cooperation on research, student exchange, and more. If you’re looking to establish university partnerships with serious longevity, Canada’s Faculty Mobility Program offers a proven approach worth emulating. In this article, we’ll explore how the program works and the impacts of faculty exchange on partnership building.

Introduction To Canada’s Faculty Mobility Program

Canada’s Faculty Mobility Program promotes collaboration and partnership building between post-secondary institutions through short-term faculty exchanges. Institutions can apply for funding to support reciprocal faculty visits of 2 to 12 weeks.

The program aims to enhance teaching and research partnerships, encourage curriculum development, and promote innovative practices. Faculty participants gain new perspectives and insights into other institutions that they bring back to their home universities. These interactions foster lasting connections and relationships between schools.

To qualify, faculty applicants must be employed at a Canadian university or college and propose a collaborative project with a faculty member at another Canadian or international post-secondary institution. Proposed activities could include team-teaching a course, conducting collaborative research, developing new academic programs, or participating in a faculty exchange.

Funding covers travel, accommodation, and living expenses during the visit. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, though institutions are limited to a set number of funded projects per year. Reports on the outcomes and impacts of each exchange are required at the project’s conclusion.

The Faculty Mobility Program has supported over 1,000 faculty exchanges since its inception, leading to curricular reforms, joint programs, research partnerships, and other collaborations that strengthen Canada’s post-secondary education system. By facilitating connections between professors and schools, the program cultivates cooperation and innovation that benefits both faculty and students.

How Canada's Faculty Mobility Program

How the Program Builds Meaningful University Partnerships

The Faculty Mobility Program facilitates relationship building between Canadian universities through short-term faculty exchanges. By providing opportunities for professors to teach and conduct research at partner institutions, the program cultivates meaningful, long-term partnerships.

Collaboration and Insight

Participating in faculty exchanges allows professors to work closely with colleagues at other universities, fostering inter-institutional collaboration. Exchanging ideas and co-developing curricula across campuses leads to innovative approaches that benefit students at both institutions. Professors also gain valuable insight into different teaching methods, resources, and facilities that they can apply at their home universities.

Network Growth

The connections professors make during exchanges often develop into ongoing research collaborations and mentorship relationships. Over multiple exchanges, these networks expand to include other faculty members, strengthening ties between the two universities. The growth of these inter-institutional networks creates more opportunities for exchanges, joint programs, and partnerships.

Cultural Exchange

Short-term faculty exchanges promote intercultural understanding as professors experience differences in university culture, values, and norms. They return home with a broader, more nuanced perspective that helps build a shared academic culture across Canadian campuses. This cultural exchange, combined with meaningful collaboration and network growth, allows the Faculty Mobility Program to forge sustainable university partnerships that enrich the Canadian higher education system.

Success Stories: High-Impact Collaborations Made Possible by Faculty Exchanges

Through the Faculty Mobility for Partnership Building Program, Canadian universities have fostered collaborative relationships that transcend borders. By facilitating faculty exchanges, the program enables professors to work side by side with international colleagues, sparking new research partnerships and strengthening existing ties between institutions.

McGill University and Peking University

McGill University and Peking University in China have developed a thriving partnership in recent years. Professors from both schools have taken part in research collaborations and teaching exchanges across numerous departments, including biomedical engineering, social work, and music. These interactions have spawned joint publications, student exchanges, and the establishment of a McGill-PKU Joint Ph.D. Award. Faculty exchanges through the mobility program have been integral to initiating and sustaining this comprehensive alliance.

University of Toronto and Delhi University

The University of Toronto and Delhi University in India have built a robust partnership enabling professors in social sciences and humanities to collaborate on research, teaching, curriculum development, and graduate student supervision. Faculty exchanges supported by the mobility program have strengthened connections between scholars in history, sociology, geography, and linguistics. Joint activities include team-teaching courses, hosting academic conferences, and pursuing interdisciplinary research on issues related to urbanization, migration, and cultural identity.

University of British Columbia and University of Hong Kong

At the University of British Columbia and the University of Hong Kong, faculty exchanges have enhanced an already vigorous research partnership in science and technology fields. Professors from both institutions have participated in teaching exchanges, collaborated on studies in biomedical engineering, computer science, and sustainability, and secured external funding for joint projects. These interactions, facilitated by the mobility program, have accelerated the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the two universities.

READ ALSO: Opportunity of a Lifetime: The Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program


As you have seen, Canada’s Faculty Mobility Program has proven instrumental in forging meaningful, long-term partnerships between postsecondary institutions across the country and around the globe. By facilitating inter-institutional faculty exchanges, the program enables professors to broaden their perspectives, share best practices, and return home with a renewed passion for teaching and research collaboration. For the institutions themselves, these faculty exchanges build relationships and goodwill that transcend any single exchange and open the door to deeper, multifaceted partnerships that strengthen the Canadian university system as a whole. Though still a relatively small program, the Faculty Mobility fund has an outsized impact, building bridges between schools one professor at a time. For the professors, the students, and the institutions involved, the rewards of participation in this program are both immediate and enduring.

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