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We had a great opportunity to celebrate our connections with Canada last week as we welcomed the Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom to Durham. The Honourable Ralph E. Goodale has been in post since April 2021 and was joined on the visit by Laura Lumsden, First Secretary (Trade) at the Canadian High Commission in London, whose remit includes education.

The High Commissioner met with our Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Professor Karen O’Brien, and other senior Durham colleagues before joining some of our staff, who shared some of the world-leading research our academics conduct with colleagues in Canada, in fields as diverse as astronomy, health ageing, natural disaster preparedness, and the Arctic.

High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom, the Honourable Ralph E. Goodale (left) discusses Canada-UK cooperation in an evolving geopolitical landscape with Professor Gidon Cohen, Associate Professor and Head of School in the School of Government and International Affairs.

To conclude the visit, the High Commissioner joined an audience of staff and students for an ‘in-conversation’ discussion on Canada-UK cooperation in an evolving geopolitical landscape. He spoke enthusiastically about UK-Canada relations and the important role that the Durham University communities have in furthering bilateral relations.

Through the visit, he met Canadian staff and students as well as some of the students who benefit from our institutional partnerships with universities across Canada, which is always a popular destination for study abroad. Each year around ten students spend their year abroad across six partner institutions in Canada, from the University of British Columbia in its far west to Quebec’s McGill University.

Durham students have also met with considerable success in the Global Research Internship Programme organised by Canadian non-profit Mitacs. This summer over 40 of our undergraduate students will spend 12 weeks on a research placement at 24 Canadian universities.


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