General questions about the program

No. Individuals cannot apply directly to the BCDI 2030 program. Applications are made through a partnership between a Canadian higher education institution (HEI) and a HEI from one of the 26 eligible countries. The Canadian and partner HEIs whose project proposals are accepted will themselves launch a call for scholarship applications for study in Canada and will select their own scholars. The selection will be made based on pre-established criteria in line with BCDI 2030 program terms and the admission criteria of the program of study.

As the voices of Canadian universities and colleges, CICan and UnivCan are in close contact with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to promote the interests of its members, including regarding the process of obtaining the necessary temporary immigration documents to carry out the scholarship project for studies in Canada. The consortium will facilitate the processing of temporary immigration documents for BCDI 2030 scholars with the respective Canadian missions abroad.

A scholarship project can involve several scholarship recipients. The exact number of scholars is determined by the partner HEIs, based on the nature of the project and a realistic estimate of the number of scholars they can select, host and support.

There are no guidelines for the second stream of BCDI 2030, which aims to develop institutional partnerships between HEIs from the 26 eligible countries and their Canadian counterparts. The BCDI 2030 team will facilitate the development of these institutional partnerships by first assessing partner countries’ institutional capacity building needs in higher education in close collaboration with supervisory ministries and other stakeholders.

Following this needs assessment exercise, the BCDI 2030 team will draft terms of reference that will illustrate in detail the needs identified. The terms of reference will then be disseminated to CICan and UnivCan member institutions, who will be invited to submit a project proposal explaining the proposed support to address the issues raised. HEIs in eligible countries will evaluate the proposals received and select the Canadian HEI(s) with which they wish to collaborate. Successful Canadian HEIs will be invited to visit the field to carry out a cost analysis and develop a work plan in close collaboration with the partner HEI. Once the Contribution Agreement has been signed, participating HEIs will be able to initiate their institutional partnership. Institutional partnerships will be developed gradually in the 26 countries eligible for BCDI 2030 from 2023-2026.

The whole duration of the BCDI 2030 program is eight years. Regarding the scholarship projects for studies submitted under the first call for proposals in May 2023, the maximum duration of the study stay in Canada is four years. All activities must be completed by December 31, 2028. It is up to Canadian HEIs and their partner HEIs to determine the duration of their scholarship project for studies within this time frame. Winning HEIs do not need to renew their request for each academic year.

Scholarship projects must be no less than one month and no more than four years. Short-term projects are possible, as long as they lead to a certification.

Short-term courses or training must lead to credits or continuing education units, or official recognition of the partner HEIs as part of a degree, certification, or study certificate.

The BCDI 2030 program is based on three sustainable development goals to strengthen the social and economic development of men and women, particularly women, within societies. These are inclusive and equitable access to higher education (SDG 4), equitable participation in the labor market (SDG 8) and the need for concerted action to innovate and create wealth (SDG 17).

BCDI 2030 is aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This policy prioritizes the investments, partnerships and advocacy efforts that have the greatest potential to close gender gaps, eliminate barriers to gender equality and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Partner HEIs are responsible for ensuring that the majority of scholarship recipients are women. As part of their scholarship project, partner HEIs must establish selection criteria in collaboration with Canadian HEIs and form an impartial selection committee that will implement a predefined recruitment strategy. This strategy will make sure that all applications, including those from women, are evaluated fairly, and the selection of at least 51% of women scholarship recipients, where possible.

The BCDI 2030 program is aiming to launch its next call for proposals for projects for studies in Canada in April 2024. At that time, we will share the call via our website and social media channels, as well as through Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada’s networks.

Eligibility and selection criteria

Once a call for proposals has closed, the BCDI 2030 team reviews all submissions received to determine eligibility.

Eligible proposals are then sent to an impartial international selection committee comprised of specialists in international development, education and/or gender equality. The committee evaluates and ranks proposals according to clear selection criteria and recommends projects for funding.

The BCDI 2030 team makes a final decision based on the selection committee’s recommendations, as well as the program’s overall geographic and thematic scope.

Scholarship projects are co-constructed by the Canadian lead HEI and the partner HEI(s). They consist of learning and/or training activities at the college, technical, and/or university level carried out on Canadian soil.

The learning and/or training activities must lead to a certificate, attestation of studies and/or diploma awarded by a Canadian HEI and recognized by the partner country. Projects may include virtual or hybrid activities, but projects involving only virtual activities are not eligible.

There are four types of scholarship projects and activities eligible under BCDI 2030:

Option 1: Custom-made training program
Scholars complete a custom-made training program in Canada leading to certification.

Option 2: Full program of study at a Canadian college or university Scholars are enrolled in a technical or professional training program at the college level or in a regular undergraduate, graduate or postdoctoral program in Canada.

Option 3: Research or mobility stay Scholars are enrolled in a program with an eligible partner HEI and come to Canada for one or two semesters of study or research.

Option 4: Complementary training related to employability

Additional training may be offered to scholars from Options 1, 2, and 3 to meet BCDI 2030 employability goals.

Partner higher education institutions (at the technical/vocational, college or university level) in eligible countries must be recognized by their supervisory ministry and qualified to award higher education diplomas. The BCDI 2030 program gives preference to public educational institutions, but private institutions are also eligible. A research centre could be involved in implementing the project, but cannot be considered a partner HEI.

Yes, an HEI that submits a scholarship project for studies proposal in the first call will also be eligible to submit a project in the second call. However, BCDI 2030 will favuor a certain distribution of funding among all CICan and UnivCan members. In some cases, the BCDI 2030 team may provide recommendations to the members of the scholarship projects selection committee in accordance with the requirements of the funder, to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of winning projects.

Faculty or administrative staff members or managers of an eligible partner higher education institution are fully eligible for BCDI 2030 scholarships, as long as they meet the admission criteria for the study program. Their secondment for the duration of the study visit in Canada must be approved by their institution and part of a capacity-building perspective, so that the knowledge and skills they have acquired can be put to good use at their home institution upon their return.

The BCDI 2030 program aims foster the social and economic development of people, particularly women, from 26 eligible Francophonie and Commonwealth countries, as well as other Small Island Developing States. The 26 eligible countries are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Tunisia.

In the context of the BCDI 2030 program, Canadian post-secondary institutions must be a member of CICan or UnivCan (college, institute or university) as well as a Designated Educational Institution (DEI), duly approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.