Premier Christy Clark is leading delegates from nine post-secondary institutions on a trade mission to India aimed at expanding the two-way flow of students, teachers and ideas between B.C. and India.
“India is a key partner in British Columbia’s International Education Strategy, and many of our post-secondary institutions have already developed strong links with India,” said Clark. “This trade mission is an excellent opportunity for us to strengthen those connections and promote and highlight British Columbia as a destination of choice for students.”
During this mission a number of B.C. post-secondary institutions intend to sign partnership agreements with institutions and organizations in India. The agreements will support initiatives such as exchange of research scientists to pursue research in the areas of energy, fuel cells, clean energy technology and advanced materials, and create opportunities for student exchange with B.C.
For example, Royal Roads University is building on a previous agreement allowing Chandigarh University students to transfer into the third year of Royal Roads’ Bachelor of Business Administration program.
Similarly, the University of the Fraser Valley and Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Faridkot will develop a two-way exchange for faculty visits and collaborative activities, exchange of students, and exploration of common research interests.
Simon Fraser University will establish an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Visiting Scholars Program to foster and strengthen cultural relations by hosting world-class Indian scholars from a wide range of disciplines. SFU is the first Western Canadian University to receive support from ICCR to create such a program.
“New agreements like these will help to strength the education ties between B.C. and India, and they raise the profile of B.C. as a high quality study destination,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk, in India as part of the trade mission. “We’re committed to working with our post-secondary institutions to create more learning opportunities for students and teachers from B.C. and India.”
In 2012/13, there were 112,800 internationals students in British Columbia - an increase of 20% since 2009/10. Over the same time period, there was a 188% increase in the number of students coming to B.C. from India.
Under the BC Jobs Plan the province set a target of a 50% increase in the number of international students in B.C. by 2016. This trade mission is an opportunity for the province to build on the growth already realized in India through supporting connections between institutions that will encourage even more students from India to choose B.C. as their study destination.
Last year, international students spent $2.3 billion in B.C. on tuition, accommodation and other living expenses, arts and culture, and recreation, which supported almost 25,500 jobs and created a positive economic impact on communities throughout British Columbia.
Delegates from nine B.C. post-secondary institutions include:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- College of New Caledonia
- Langara College
- Royal Roads University
- Simon Fraser University
- University of British Columbia
- University of the Fraser Valley
- University of Victoria
- Vancouver Film School
Office of the Premier
Stacey McGaghey Jones
Ministry of Advanced Education