History of WFCP

The history of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) dates 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 annual 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:

  • Colleges and Institutes Canada, formerly known as Association of Canadian Community Colleges
  • Association of Colleges, United Kingdom
  • American Association of Community Colleges, United States
  • TAFE Directors Australia
  • Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa

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 World Congress is the hallmark of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics. Every 1-2 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, which seek to distinguish WFCP member institutions and individuals whose exceptional initiatives are strengthening applied learning and research outcomes, are announced at each Congress.