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[Excerpt] This book presents key features, attributes and defining characteristics of Canadian Community Colleges and Institutes of Technology and the lessons they offer to developing countries in Asia. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan, formerly the ACCC) have been long standing dialogue partners on issues concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Asia and Pacific region.

This joint knowledge product documents the evolution of community colleges in Canada and their contribution to the economy and society. Internationalization initiatives suggest that partnerships in skills and human capital development are possible in countries at various stages of development and are in fact the hallmark of successful global economies.

Canada’s approaches or models have relevance for other countries as the country has done very well in secondary and tertiary education attainments which are higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average. In 2012, 92% of 25-34 year-olds in Canada attained at least upper secondary education (compared to the OECD average of 82%), and 57% attained tertiary education (compared to the OECD average of 39%). Canada has one of the lowest proportions of workers experiencing a mismatch between their literacy skills and tasks they perform at work among countries participating in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Canada’s unemployment rates were below the OECD average in 2012.

The Community College has been an important institution in the country’s post secondary education landscape, providing access to relevant education and training as well as contributing measurable economic and social returns. Community colleges have particularly contributed to local economic and social development and have served the manpower needs of small and medium enterprises. Emerging economies in Asia can benefit significantly by deriving lessons from the Canadian models and approaches.


Suggested Citation
Asian Development Bank. (2015). The role of community colleges in skills development: Lessons from the Canadian experience for developing Asia. Manila: Author.

Required Publisher's Statement
© Asian Development Back. Available at ADB’s Open Access Repository under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 3.0 IGO).