A History of WFCP

The history of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) traces back to 1998. At that time the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), now known as Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), engaged in many international projects around the world. ACCC acknowledged that various educational organizations from different parts of the world faced similar issues and challenges and shared common approaches. This gave ACCC a strong impulse to initiate a world federation to allow those organizations to share practices and experiences, learn from each other and create valuable networks. It was also envisioned that a united world federation would be better positioned to advocate globally for its members in areas that would promote technical education, workforce development and economic development for its respective countries.

With that vision in mind, ACCC convened the 1st World Congress in 1999. It was held in Quebec City as part of the ACCC conference, and its core agenda was to “test” the notion of a World Federation. Nearly 2000 participants attended from around the world. ACCC presented the vision and proceeded with workshops and presentations to fine tune the vision. After the Quebec Congress, there was overwhelming support to create the WFCP.

The founding members of WFCP are:

  • Canada (ACCC (now CICan))
  • UK (AOC)
  • USA (AACC)
  • Australia (TDA)
  • Africa (CAPA)

Until 2002 the federation operated as an informal network. In 2002 the federation formed as a formal association with its constitution accepted by members at the 2nd World Congress held in Melbourne, Australia. Since its inception, the Federation’s membership has grown as it continues to offer members a forum to exchange best practices and promote professional and technical education and training across the globe.

The congress is the hallmark of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics. Every two years education professionals gather in a member country to hear the latest trends, best practices and network with their peers in the professional and technical education and training field. Each Congress program is informed by the Federation’s Affinity Groups and a theme relevant at the time. Awards of Excellence aligned with Affinity Group themes are announced at each congress.

The previous World Congresses and the host organizations are:

  • 2018 World Congress: Melbourne, Australia (Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Directors Australia)
  • 2016 World Congress: Vitória, Brazil (Conselho Nacional das Instituições da Rede Federal de Educação Profissional, Científica e Tecnológica (Conif))
  • 2014 World Congress: Beijing, China (China Education International Exchange Association (CEAIE))
  • 2012 World Congress: Halifax, Canada (CICan)
  • 2010 World Congress: Birmingham, UK (Association of Colleges (AoC))
  • 2008 World Congress: New York City, USA (American Association of Community Colleges (AACC))
  • 2005 World Congress: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • 2003 World Congress: Melbourne, Australia (TAFE Directors Australia (TDA))
  • 1999 World Congress: Québec, Canada (Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) [previously known an Association of Canadian Community Colleges]
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