CBIE Timeline

1940s-2019 | Scroll down and explore!

Although the Canadian Bureau for International Education was incorporated in 1966, the organization developed in the late 1940s as Friendly Relations with Overseas Students (FROS). The organization was also previously named Canadian Service for Overseas Students and Trainees (CSOST).


CBIE dates back to the 1940s and was founded in the postwar years under the banner: Friendly Relations with Overseas Students (FROS) by a group of inspired students at the University of Toronto, among them Prof. Thomas H.B. Symons, founding President of Trent University, and Dr. Alan Earp, former President of Brock University.


August 1966- CBIE Incorporation- Signatories to our letters patent: James A. Gibson, Jean-Charles Bouffard, Grace Maynard, Pierre Meunier, E. Clifford Knowles, John B. Thomas, Andrew Stewart, Douglas Mayer, Patrick Kenniff, Robert L. Dunsmore, Robert Murray MacDonald, Hugh G. Christie, Jacques Garneau, Mohammed Jeeroburkhan, Katherine D. Riddell, Helen Hnatyshyn, Gabrielle Einsle and Robert J. Torrance.


Dr. W.C. Winegard is drafted as CBIE’s president, succeeding Dr. Francis Leddy at a conference held at the University of Guelph.

CBIE publishes International Education Internationale in the fall of 1970, a collection of papers expressing its varied interests. There are about 22,000 foreign students in Canada.


CBIE’s first annual Conference takes place in St. John’s Nfld.


CBIE hosts its annual conference in Waterloo and holds regular workshops for Foreign Student Associations (FSAs). School visits by international students begin which are both promoted and financed by CBIE.


Education Canada is absorbed by CBIE, adding a new dimension – educational exchanges within Canada and internationally.

CBIE’s first cross-cultural workshop, led by Chris Bimponh, Amaoko-Nuama and Jim Shute and attended by twelve student affairs staff from 10 universities.


CBIE publishes Papers on Foreign Student Issues published.


CBIE begins management of the Nigeria-Canada Technical Education Program which over the next several years brings over 1,000 Nigerians to study at Canadian colleges.


CBIE supported the first certificate program for international educators in Canada in the 1980s, at the University of British Columbia, which continues today.

The council of Second Languages Programs in Canada is founded under CBIE sponsorship.


CBIE led the first Canadian mission in Iran following the Revolution — promoting people-to-people relationships through education — leading to a major investment by Iran in a scholarship program in Canada.


CBIE generated debate with our study The Right Mix, discussing the need to aim for diversity in our international student population through recruitment and enrollments.


CBIE conducted Canada’s first national survey of international student satisfaction, which led to improvements in international student employment opportunities and enhanced services on campus and from government.


CBIE’s advocacy on behalf of Chinese students in Canada affected by events at Tiananmen Square led the federal government to establish the Chinese Student Emergency Service, implemented by CBIE.


Throughout the 1990s, working with top researchers, CBIE guided the discussion on internationalization of education, identifying its components and providing tools to measure achievement, and initiating discussion around risks and responsibilities in mobility programming.


With the support of the Canadian government, CBIE has enjoyed the longest uninterrupted technical assistance presence of any Canadian organization in Ukraine (including 18 technical assistance projects totaling over $80 million CAD) involving collaboration with government at central, regional and local levels, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and policy think tanks, academic institutions, as well as the private sector.


CBIE advises on the creation of the Advisory Committee on International Students and Immigration (ACISI) by the Canadian government.


From 1996-98 a series of discussions on trilateral partnerships take place including CBIE, institutions and organizations across Canada the USA and Mexico. The Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education is created and CONAHEC founded.


In the new millennium, CBIE has examined cross-border education, attempting to position our institutions to understand and manage new players in Canada and new ways of connecting themselves internationally.

In support of the Millennium Project, CBIE supported 130 exchange program scholarships for students at member institutions and 30 grants for program development by our members.


The longstanding relationship between Libya and CBIE was renewed in 2010, when CBIE was selected to manage the Libyan scholarship program for North America.

Through the upheavals of 2011 CBIE worked to ensure the welfare of the 2,500 Libyan scholars in Canada and the United States, engaging the support of the governments of both countries and of the United Nations. CBIE also mobilized effective support – moral and financial – from our member and partner institutions.


CBIE launched a PhD Research Series to encourage new researchers to enter the field.


CBIE welcomes the administration Ciência sem Fronteiras scholarship program funded by the Brazilian government with support from the private sector.  Its main goal is to promote the consolidation and expansion of science, technology and innovation in Brazil by means of international exchange and mobility.

CBIE publishes its first Flagship Report: A World of Learning


CBIE adopts a new Code of Ethical Practice, building on the 1993 Code

CBIE along with four other national associations (ACCC, Universities Canada, caps-i and Languages Canada) renew their collective commitment to international education and change the name of their alliance to the Canadian Consortium for International Education (CCIE)


In January 2014 CBIE participated in ‘The Global Dialogue on the Future of Higher Education’ in South Africa, hosted by CBIE’s sister organization the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). It concluded with the Nelson Mandela Bay Declaration which declared the commitment of participants to promote a global higher education agenda which is equitable, ethical, socially responsible, accessible and accountable.

CBIE adopts a Statement of Principles in Internationalization developed by CBIE’s Internationalization Leaders Network


The Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program (CFSP) is a scholarship program designed to build institutional capacities by training employed nationals from developing countries of La Francophonie. The program is entirely funded by the Government of Canada.

CBIE  launches Canada’s Education Abroad Lexicon, developed through a consultative process led by CBIE’s Education Abroad Advisory Committee (EAAC).


The African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) Scholarship Program commemorates the late Nelson Mandela’s commitment to social justice and equity. It supports young African professionals to become leaders in public policy and administration.


CBIE turns 50! Launch of International Students & Immigration Education Program


CBIE launches national #LearningAbroad campaign, championed by 91 international educations institutions


Canada welcomes 494,525 international students, surpassing its International Education Strategy goal of 450,000 five years early.


A record number of students (over 14,000) respond to CBIE’s International Student Survey.


Larissa BezoLarissa Bezo

Larissa Bezo is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of CBIE.