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Vancouver and British Columbia are recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in education, attracting about 150,000 international students annually, the majority of them studying in the Vancouver region.
In addition to two major research universities, Greater Vancouver has an array of outstanding educational institutions, including the second-largest K-12 school system in B.C., the province’s only polytechnic institute, about 20 public and private colleges and institutes offering post-secondary qualifications, and a cohort of private language and career training schools catering to the immigrant population. About eight per cent of the workforce is in the education sector; teachers and professors make up the third-largest occupation group in the city.
Education in Vancouver is truly international. More than 40 per cent of the population has a mother tongue other than English or French, and public school students speak 57 unique languages.
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About one-third of all international students in Canada choose to study in B.C. International students come to Vancouver and B.C. for a superior education that is affordable relative to competing jurisdictions. In addition, the region’s quality of life is well known internationally, as is the city’s idyllic setting. The living environment is safe and inclusive, with quality health care, social services and public education.
Relative to the U.S., immigration processes are easy to navigate for students, and recent changes in regulations have made it easier for international students to work in B.C. following completion of their studies.
Educational institutions have leveraged Vancouver’s diversity to build strong multicultural and international linkages and programs. These linkages benefit local businesses by strengthening their access to foreign language skills, foreign business practices, overseas talent and potential business partners.
The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University offer world-class expertise and facilities for applied research and discovery:
The Government of British Columbia is the biggest investor in education in the province and is spending an additional $1 billion annually to add 25,000 new seats at colleges and universities by 2010 – about 5,000 of them in Vancouver. An additional 650 graduate student places are also being funded.
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B.C. Career Colleges Association
Organization of private sector post-secondary education suppliers.
B.C. Centre for International Education
Non-profit that promotes international education.
B.C. College Presidents
Organization to advance the interests of B.C. colleges.
B.C. Electronic Library Network
A partnership of the B.C. government and post-secondary libraries. Based at SFU, it facilitates access to information for learners and educators throughout B.C.
B.C. Institute of Technology
Full-time students 16,000; part-time 32,000. Western Canada’s premier polytechnic institute, offering degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields, including transportation, digital media, construction, health sciences and natural resources.
Canadian Association of Private Language Schools
Vancouver-based national association of private English and French language schools, representing more than 100 schools across Canada.
Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training
Centre for policy research on educational issues.
Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design
Students: 1,600. One of B.C.’s oldest colleges and one of Canada’s leading arts institutions, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in visual arts, media arts and design.
Government of British Columbia
B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education
B.C. Ministry of Education (K-12)
B.C. Ministry of Economic Development
International Public School Education Association of B.C.
Association of public school districts in B.C. that accept international students.
Full and part time students: 23,000 College offering Bachelor’s, Associate, Diploma and Certificates studies in
creative and applied arts, health and human services, liberal arts and languages, management and business, science and technology, and social and cultural studies.
Learning Cities Initiative
Canadian Council on Learning
A joint initiative of the City of Vancouver and the Canadian Council on Learning to develop a community lifelong learning strategy for the city.
Private Career Training Institutions Agency of British Columbia
Agency authorized by the B.C. Ministry of Education to oversee private career-training institutions.
Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Full time students: 24,000. A public research university with three campuses in Greater Vancouver, including one in the city of Vancouver’s business core.
University of British Columbia (UBC)
Full-time students: 44,000. A major economic engine in Vancouver, generating nearly 40,000 jobs and making an estimated local economic impact of $6.3 billion.
University Presidents Council of B.C.
Organization to provide leadership in the development of the public university system.
Vancouver Community College
Full time students: 25,000. The college offers general and specialized education in key industry professions, including health, technology and business, as well as English as a second language and life-long learning.
Vancouver School Board (Public K-12 School District)
Full time students: 56,000; continuing education 44,000. The second largest public school system in B.C., operating 91 elementary schools, 18 secondary schools and seven adult education centres.
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Photo Credit: Vancouver Film School