Students from British Columbia and Tokyo, Japan will get the chance to connect – with each other – thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding signed today by B.C.’s Ministry of Education and the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education.
The two jurisdictions will promote British Columbia and Tokyo as high-quality education destinations for B.C. and Tokyo students under the agreement signed on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier by Ben Stewart, British Columbia’s special representative in Asia.
Tokyo and British Columbia also agreed to boost the two-way flow of information, students, and teachers to build benefits for students on both sides of the Pacific.
International Education is one of the eight key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan because of the social, cultural and economic opportunities that emerge from international education. Last year there were nearly 17,000 international students in B.C.’s K-12 system contributing an estimated $400 million to the provincial economy.
Today’s agreement is a direct result of the Asia trade mission this past June by former education minister Peter Fassbender. During the mission, Fassbender met with municipal and national education representatives, as well as B.C. offshore school operators/owners in Beijing and Tokyo.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“Parents want their kids exposed to the world – and this MOU helps us connect our province to a key part of the world. International education has the power to enhance our provincial economy and the lives and knowledge of our students. Introducing young people to different languages, cultures and ideas is invaluable.”
- Metropolitan Tokyo has a population of over 13 million, just shy of three times the population of British Columbia.
- The number of international students in B.C.’s K-12 system has increased by nearly 45% to 16,957 in 2014-15 from 11,713 in 2009-10.
- There are currently 41 certified B.C. offshore schools in China, Japan, Columbia, Egypt, South Korea, Thailand and Qatar. Four new schools have been approved to open in France and China this fall.
- The number of students enrolled at B.C. offshore schools has increased by nearly 93% to 11,000 in 2014-15 from 5,705 in 2009-10.
- Trade and investment in Asia is critical to economic growth in B.C. In 2014, 40% of B.C.’s goods exports went to Asia.
- As B.C.’s third-largest export market, Japan continues to be one of the most important export destinations for the province. In 2014, 10.2% of B.C.’s goods exports shipped to Japan.
BC Jobs Plan, International Education Strategy:
Mission to Asia, Ministry of Education:
New scholarships for international students:
Mission to China, Ministry of Advanced Education (April 2015):