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Media Contact: Hormuz Dadabhoy – Director of Operations – 613-695-5138,


Across the country, colleges, universities and the private sector are developing world-changing products and fostering the next generation of thinkers. By featuring their stories, the Business + Higher Education Roundtable shares the successful research, innovative ideas and valuable collaboration happening between post-secondary institutions and businesses throughout Canada.

Members interested in highlighting recent news can reach out to BHER at

BHER and CMAI partner to create 7,500 new work-integrated learning opportunities

(Le français suit) 

October 20, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ─ The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is thrilled to announce a partnership with the Canadian Mobility and Aerospace Institute (CMAI) that will create 7,500 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities. This partnership is made possible with support from the Government of Canada. 

“Canada’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians having access to the experience they need to succeed,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Our government is proud to support the collaborative work between the Business

BHER launches national online challenge to get students working on Canada’s recovery

(Le français suit)

September 15, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is excited to announce the launch of the Canada Comeback Challenge, a national competition that will create up to 10,000 work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences for post-secondary students and recent graduates. The Canada Comeback Challenge is made possible by generous support from the Government of Canada. 

“Canada’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians having access to the education and experience they need to succeed,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and

BHER and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce partner to create new work-integrated learning opportunities within small businesses

(Le français suit)

August 18, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (GKWCC) have partnered to create 200 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities with small businesses in the Kitchener Waterloo region, by expanding the Access Student Talent program.  

“Canada’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians having access to the education and experience they need to succeed,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “We’re proud to support the collaborative work between the Business +

BHER and HEQCO partner on microcredentials research to improve skills development

(Le français suit)

July 29, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー Fuelled by a shared interest in skills development and training, the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is proud to partner with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to conduct research that will improve collective understanding of microcredentials to inform future development and delivery.

Microcredentials are credentials tied to short, flexible learning opportunities that are focussed on specific skills or knowledge. They are distinct from more traditional university or college degrees, diplomas and certificates which teach interconnected sets of

Funding infusion enables up to 10,000 new work-integrated learning opportunities

(Le français suit) 

June 25, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. — As a result of the recent Government of Canada announcement of $9 billion to support post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) will engage current post-secondary students and recent graduates to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic. Students and industry will co-create meaningful and innovative solutions that will help guide Canada’s recovery from COVID-19. 

The funding from the federal government will provide up to 10,000 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities for college

Inaugural BHER Student Advisory Board begins term 

(Le français suit)

June 17, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is committed to creating opportunities by bringing people together. Today BHER is proud to introduce the members of its first Student Advisory Board (SAB), a group whose purpose is to ensure that BHER’s key priorities such as skills, innovation and the future of work are informed by student perspectives. 

The eight newly appointed SAB members from across Canada will work together to provide a student perspective on BHER’s strategic priorities and initiatives, connect BHER

BHER and Riipen partner to provide 12,000 students with access to work-integrated learning

(Le français suit)

June 9, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. — The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is proud to announce a collaborative partnership with Riipen, the world’s largest marketplace of work-integrated learning experiences for students. This partnership is made possible by a $2.6 million dollar investment from the Government of Canada and in kind support from Riipen to deliver 12,000 new work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences across Canada by March 2022. 

Young Canadians face many difficulties as they transition from school to work and these have only intensified during the COVID-19

BHER and CEWIL announce grant funding to create new work-integrated learning opportunities

(Le français suit)

June 1, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) and Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) are thrilled to announce a one million dollar collaborative grant-based funding initiative aimed at creating work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities across Canada. 

This initiative comes at a time when young Canadians are facing significant challenges navigating the workforce in the face of COVID-19. Thirty-five percent of post-secondary students who responded to a recent Statistics Canada report having a work placement postponed or cancelled because of the

Where there’s a ‘WIL’ there’s a way / C’est un fAIT : quand on veut, on peut

Where there’s a ‘WIL’ there’s a way

BHER offers summer interns a virtual work-integrated learning experience


With the end of the school year, post-secondary students across Canada are facing uncertainty about summer work-integrated learning placements such as co-ops and internships. Some placements have been put on hold and others cancelled outright as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold. However, some employers are taking the opportunity to reframe the delivery of summer work placements and creating virtual learning opportunities for students instead. 

The Business / Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is

BHER applauds federal support for post-secondary students during COVID-19

April 22, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー The Business / Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) welcomes the announcement of a $9 billion financial aid package for post-secondary students and recent graduates made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today. As part of this initiative, BHER will create at least 5,000 new student placements in collaboration with its members and partners from across the work-integrated learning (WIL) ecosystem.  

“Now more than ever, we need to find new ways to tap into the creativity and energy of our students. By connecting students to Canadian companies

BHER updates regarding COVID-19

March 16, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. – As many businesses, post-secondary institutions and students move into uncharted territory regarding work and education this week during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Business / Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) wishes to provide updates on our operations and work-integrated learning. 

BHER Operations

In order to ensure the safety and health of our team, starting today March 16, all BHER staff are working from home in an effort to protect each other and our communities. Our operations are ongoing and we will continue to be …

BHER launches applications for first Student Advisory Board cohort

January 27, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ー The Business / Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is thrilled to announce the launch of our new Student Advisory Board (SAB). With today’s launch, BHER is now accepting applications for its first SAB cohort. 

“We have always been motivated by a desire to co-create new opportunities for young Canadians by listening and responding to the challenges they are facing. For these reasons, the experiences and perspectives of Canada’s post-secondary students are fundamentally at the core of our work,” said Dr. Valerie Walker, Chief Executive Officer

Statement on Ukrainian Airlines Flight (PS752) crash in Iran

January 13, 2020 

OTTAWA, O.N. ㄧ The Business / Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) joins in mourning the lives lost in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 outside of Tehran on January 8. The 176 lives lost in this crash included 63 Canadian citizens, 82 Iranians, and 24 others. At least 138 of the passengers were connecting through Kyiv and travelling to Canada. 

Among the passengers who were travelling onwards to Canada were many people with close connections to Canada’s post-secondary education community. To date 51 valuable members of

Dave McKay, President and CEO of RBC, elected Chair of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable

January 8, 2020

OTTAWA, O.N. ― The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is excited to welcome Dave McKay, President and Chief Executive Officer of RBC, as Chair of BHER’s board of directors. 

“I am thrilled to have Dave serve as our Chair and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him in this new capacity,” said Dr. Valerie Walker, Chief Executive Officer of BHER. 

“I’m pleased to continue leading BHER because I believe educators and employers have a shared responsibility to rethink the way we teach, research and prepare

BHER applauds new Bombardier internship program 

Montreal, Quebec – September 12, 2019: The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) welcomes Bombardier’s introduction of a new internship program, which will provide at least 1000 students with paid internships each year. 

“Today’s announcement by Bombardier is a very positive sign of how the private sector can contribute to the future of talent and skills development in Canada. Presenting  students with relevant and meaningful work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities is at the heart of BHER’s mission, and these opportunities are much needed in the context of the rapid change of technology and

Industry, academia, and government working together to transform education

Toronto – July 25, 2019: When Sarah Roberts, a third-year student at Western University, decided to major in mechanical engineering, she wondered how to apply her engineering skills to healthcare problems. Through her experience as a new product development intern at a Canadian-based medical device company, she’s learned how.

Sarah is one of many post-secondary students navigating a changing labor market. According to research by the Business Council of Canada, employers recognize that they expect more from new graduates entering the workforce than they did five years ago. With global

BHER welcomes student interns for summer 2019

The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) welcomes Liam Daher and Julia Göllner as their inaugural interns for summer 2019. As an organization focused on helping all post-secondary students pursue a work-integrated learning opportunity, BHER is thrilled to have two students join the team.

“For me, hiring students for this summer goes beyond our mandate and commitment to work-integrated learning: it’s a necessity for our organizational growth. Julia and Liam will bring what they’ve learned in their academic programs to help guide our policy, communications and business development, and then take the

Business, post-secondary leaders celebrate unprecedented federal investments in preparing Canadian students for the workforce

Ottawa, ON – March 19, 2019

Students studying at Canadian colleges and universities will see a significant boost to their skills training and work experience, thanks to historic commitments made in the 2019 federal budget. Today’s graduates face greater challenges when entering the job market, owing to emerging economic and technological changes. Meanwhile, employers are searching for people with the right skills.

Recognizing these challenges, the Business Council of Canada launched the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) to help Canadians navigate the transition between school and work. Since 2016, BHER has …

A Partnership to Improve Machine Learning and AI Opportunities for Canadians


Toronto – The CIO Strategy Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) to collaborate on the development and implementation of a work-integrated learning (WIL) pilot program for Canada’s ICT sector.

This partnership will combine the Council’s wealth of ICT knowledge with the BHER’s breadth of experience and leadership in the higher education space to develop and pilot a new national machine learning and AI internship program that will address the current talent gap in Canada.

“As the democratization of AI and machine …

Val Walker, Executive Director of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, named co-chair of the Future Skills Council

Val Walker, Executive Director of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) has been named co-chair of the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Council.

A complementary body to the Future Skills Centre, also announced today, the Future Skills Council provides advice to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on emerging skills, workforce trends and priorities of pan-Canadian significance relating to skills development and training for Canadians.

As co-chair, Val Walker will be working to help set the agenda and priorities of the Council for a two-year term. She is joined …

Business/Higher Education Roundtable welcomes Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto, as new Co-Chair

The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) welcomes Dr. Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto, as its new university co-chair. Effective January 1, Dr. Gertler joined Anne Sado, President of George Brown College, and Dave McKay, President and CEO of RBC, in leading BHER. He succeeds Elizabeth Cannon, former president of the University of Calgary.

“Dr. Gertler’s wealth of experience and leadership are tremendous assets to BHER’s future,” said Val Walker, BHER’s Executive Director. “He brings to this role a passion for public policy and a keen sense of Canada’s …

BHER welcomes delegation from the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences

OTTAWA, September 24: This morning, the Business/Higher Education Roundtable hosted a pan-African group of business and post-secondary leaders for a session on the value of work-integrated learning and developing industry/academic partnerships.

Delegates on the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Partner Study Tour are spending two weeks in Canada meeting with groups focused on skills, education and employment policy.

“BHER was instrumental to linking AIMS with a range of industry, higher education and government stakeholders for the industry partner study tour and facilitating the necessary reflective space to inform work-integrated …

Group of 25 cross-country organizations calls for national work-integrated learning strategy

Ottawa, Ontario – September 5, 2018: An unprecedented number of leaders from student, business and post-secondary organizations are coming together to call for a national strategy that would give every post-secondary student a chance to participate in a valuable work experience before they finish school.

“As Canada navigates an uncertain economic and trade environment, it has never been more important to focus on how our country can best prepare the next generation for the future of work,” said Dave McKay, President and Chief Executive Officer of RBC, and BHER’s industry …

Business/Higher Education Roundtable submits recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

Across the country, an unprecedented coalition of educators and employers have come together to ensure that Canada has the most highly skilled and productive work force in the world.

We believe that the most efficient and effective way to prepare Canada’s youth for the coming skills revolution is by embracing work-integrated learning (WIL). WIL opportunities such as co-ops, internships, apprenticeships and applied research projects enable students to apply their skills and knowledge in the workplace. They introduce young people to potential new career paths, while providing businesses with access to …

New research partnership guides help smooth collaboration between businesses, post-secondary institutions

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Companies looking to build innovative technologies, capitalize on expertise and solve businesses challenges have new resources to help them work with Canada’s post-secondary institutions. Released by the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), the Guide to Research Partnerships with Canada’s Colleges and Polytechnics and Guide to Research Partnerships with Canada’s Universities outline the practical steps businesses can take to create mutually beneficial agreements with post-secondary institutions.

“In a time of rapid technological acceleration and competitive global markets, research partnerships are a significant way businesses can leverage post-secondary capabilities,” …

Business/Higher Education Roundtable welcomes Dave McKay, CEO of RBC, as new industry co-chair

The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) welcomes Dave McKay, President and Chief Executive Officer of RBC, as their new industry co-chair. Effective April 23, Mr. McKay will be joining Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary, and Anne Sado, President of George Brown College, in leading BHER. He succeeds Tom Jenkins, Chair of the Board of OpenText Corporation, in this role.

“I’m thrilled to have Dave McKay’s leadership and wealth of experience as we build BHER’s future,” said Anne Sado.

Mr. McKay has led RBC since 2014 – a time …

BHER applauds federal investments in skills development

A series of announcements across Canada this week highlights how partnerships between businesses and post-secondary institutions are equipping students with the skills needed for a competitive economy. At launch events in Toronto, Quebec City, Charlottetown and Clarington, the Government of Canada rolled out funding as part of its initiative to create 10,000 paid student work placements over the next four years.

“Seeing these programs develop across their sectors – it’s a tremendous success,” says The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada. “To see government, …

Canadian companies are working harder to recruit, retain young talent, report finds

TORONTO, April 5, 2018 – Canadian employers are working harder and spending more to recruit and retain recent post-secondary graduates in an increasingly competitive labour market, a new report indicates.

Based on responses from hiring managers at 95 of Canada’s largest companies, the study by Morneau Shepell found that:

  • Eighty-three per cent of the companies surveyed participate in co-op programs and other forms of work-integrated learning initiatives that help them identify potential new employees. In a similar survey two years ago, 76 per cent of employers said they were participating

Automation to impact at least 50% of Canadian jobs in the next decade: RBC research

Human intelligence and intuition critical for young people and jobs of the future

  • Being ‘human’ will ensure resiliency in an era of disruption and artificial intelligence
  • Skills mobility – the ability to move from one job to another – will become a new competitive advantage

A new RBC research paper, Humans Wanted – How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption, has revealed that 50% of Canadian jobs will be disrupted by automation in the next 10 years.

As a result of this disruption, Canada’s Gen

Oceans, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and more: Business/Higher Education Roundtable celebrates superclusters as unprecedented examples of research partnerships

OTTAWA – On February 15th, the federal government announced the recipients of major research funding, aimed at boosting collaboration between business and higher education. Each of the five regional superclusters involves a consortium of large anchor companies, SMEs, public research facilities, post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations.

Each cluster teamed up to submit a joint funding proposal that identified key regional players, capacity for growth, and a long-term sustainability strategy. Over the next six years, the five recipients will match dollar-for-dollar the $950 million in federal funding – a strong commitment …

Partnership to help students gain work experience through wage subsidy program

Announced by Red River College on February 6th, 2018.

Students in Red River College’s Applied Computer Education (ACE) department will gain an important first step towards their careers, thanks to a new partnership with the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).

Through the ITAC Talent Career Ready program, eligible companies in the ACE Project Space, along with Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning (CEWIL) ACE Partners, will receive a wage subsidy for students’ work placements, which allows the companies to hire a driven employee who can apply cutting-edge …

Business and post-secondary leaders celebrate major investments in preparing students for the workforce

Thousands of Canadian students will find the pathway from the classroom to the workforce much easier to navigate, thanks to a major commitment by Toronto region businesses and post-secondary institutions. Earlier today, leading financial services companies, universities and colleges announced an ambitious plan to provide 10,000 work-integrated learning placements by the end of 2020.


A joint initiative from 10 members of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) and seven universities and colleges, the program – ASPIRE – seeks to help students transition from post-secondary to the workplace while also …

Algonquin College and Shopify announce new program making experiential learning a priority

As reported by Algonquin College

Ottawa — Algonquin College and Shopify are pleased to announce a partnership that brings students into the future of commerce and design.

Sixty third-year Algonquin College Graphic Design students from the School of Media and Design will be receiving hands-on training in a pilot course that provides experiential learning opportunities at Shopify’s company headquarters. As part of the curriculum, students will partner with local businesses to improve design aspects of their companies. The students will gain expert insight and training from Shopify instructors, who collaborated …

Centennial College’s $90-million digs unveiled

As reported by Bill Tremblay and the Canadian Lodging News

SCARBOROUGH, Ont. — While its students are well into their first semester at Centennial College’s new Culinary Arts Centre, the school is beginning to introduce the public to its state-of-the-art hospitality facility.

Planning for the $90-million facility began about three years ago. Following two years of construction, the building opened its doors in September and includes a 742-bed residence, classrooms, labs, offices, a restaurant, café and conference centre.

“It feels like natural growth. Centennial has a long history of hospitality. …

State-of-the-art clinical learning space to open at St. Lawrence College

As reported by St. Lawrence College:

With half of St. Lawrence College students in health and health-related programs, the need for expanded state-of-the-art clinical learning space is critical. The College’s lab space was recently rebuilt and modernized in order to meet the increased need for highly advanced technical training for students in programs such as degree and practical nursing, Medical Laboratory Science/Assistant, and Pre-Health Science.

The grand opening of the new Clinical Simulation Lab will take place on January 11 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at the Kingston campus.…

Calling for Collaboration: Putting the voice of youth at the centre to help solve the school to work transition

A new whitepaper, Addressing the Catch 22: RBC Career Launch Applicants Recommendations for Improving School-to-Work Transitions, published by RBC in partnership with the Canadian Career Development Foundation reveals that recent grads in Canada want to be part of the solution but they are calling for more support and collaboration from business, schools and government to help them reach their full potential as they transition from school to work.

According to the study based on more than 1,350 applications randomly selected from the approximately 5,800 that RBC has received …

Report advocates for national protocols in high-impact world of work-integrated learning

As reported by the University of Calgary

As someone on a university campus, you’ve probably heard about it, but you may not even know it. Work-integrated learning (WIL) goes by many terms in the academic world — such as work-based learning, practice-based learning, co-operative education and internship, to name a few — but they are all a part of a fundamental aspect of high-quality education that readies students for their future.

A new report from the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) advocates for a common definition for post-secondary institutions to consider …

Report takes pulse of work-integrated learning opportunities

As originally appearing on the McGill Reporter

On Sept. 27, Principal Suzanne Fortier met with leaders from 26 Canadian post-secondary institutions and the private sector for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable on work-integrated learning. McGill is one of six universities participating in the group. This week, the B/HER released its research report, “Taking the Pulse of Work-Integrated Learning in Canada.”

The report identifies best practices regarding, and barriers to implementing, work-integrated learning (WIL). The report concludes with recommendations for increasing student access to WIL opportunities. Both a summary and the full

College celebrates opening of Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining building

As announced by Yukon College

Yukon College held a grand opening ceremony today for the new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining (CNIM) building at the Ayamdigut campus. The $8.3 million, 18,000 square foot building is eighty per cent larger than originally envisioned and has been completed a year ahead of schedule.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, Yukon Minister for Energy Mines and Resources Scott Kent, Yukon Member of Parliament Larry Bagnell and the CNIM governing council joined students, faculty and staff for the ribbon cutting and tour of the new …

Scotiabank Invests $1 Million in the University of New Brunswick’s Student Abroad Programs and Honours Former Chief Executive

As announced by the University of New Brunswick.

Fredricton, New Brunswick – Students at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) now have more opportunities to study and learn abroad thanks to Scotiabank, Canada’s international bank.

Scotiabank today announced that it is furthering its commitment to international study awards at UNB with a leadership gift of $1 million. The new funds will be used to support awards for students interested in pursuing educational opportunities overseas.

“I wish to extend my thanks to Scotiabank for this exceptional gift,” said Eddy Campbell, UNB …

Every university and college student should have access to work-integrated learning, business and post-secondary leaders say

Making work-integrated learning a fundamental part of the Canadian undergraduate experience is one of several commitments recently made by Canada’s Business/Higher Education Roundtable – a year-old organization representing some of the country’s leading companies and post-secondary institutions.

Roundtable members agreed on an ambitious agenda, which includes:

  1. A national goal for work-integrated learning – to ensure 100 per cent of Canadian post-secondary students benefit from some form of meaningful work-integrated learning before graduation.
  2. A national campaign to promote the importance of work-integrated learning.
  3. A series of work-integrated learning pilot projects focused

University of Toronto and RBC create startup accelerator for young innovators

As announced by the University of Toronto on April 5, 2016

The University of Toronto and the Royal Bank of Canada today announced ONRamp, a major new initiative that will help support Canada’s innovative entrepreneurs.

Located in the Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (BBCIE), ONRamp will provide new collaborative workspaces for students, entrepreneurs and startup companies to support them in developing commercial ideas.

“U of T is a global leader in transforming innovative ideas into products, services, companies and jobs,” said Meric Gertler, president of the University …

University of Waterloo honours its top co-op students, including national winner

Tuesday, March 15 2016

As announced by the University of Waterloo

A student from the University of Waterloo has won the award for top co-op student in Canada for her work coordinating a radiotherapy program for people in the advanced stages of cancer.…

McGill launches Masters of Management in Finance

February 11, 2016

As announced by McGill University

McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management is launching a new twelve-month Masters of Management in Finance (MMF).…

YRC & industry partner to discover the best solar technology for the North

February 4, 2016

As announced by Yukon College

Whitehorse – Yukoners will soon have a better understanding of what solar technologies could work best in the North. Cold Climate Innovation, of the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College has partnered with Solvest Inc. and Triniti Technology to study solar technology performance in the North.…

CAE Healthcare launches world-class neurosurgery simulator in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada

January 18, 2016

As announced by CAE Inc.

CAE Healthcare announced today the launch of NeuroVRTM, a neurosurgery simulator that offers the world’s most realistic training environment for open cranial and endoscopic brain surgery procedures.…

Business leaders and post-secondary presidents launch Business/Higher Education Roundtable to improve school-to-work transitions

In a move aimed at strengthening cooperation between employers and educators, a group representing some of Canada’s largest companies and post-secondary institutions today announced the creation of the Canadian Business/Higher Education Roundtable.…