B.C. and China forge post-secondary partnerships

Thompson Rivers University is part of new educational exchange program with China.

  • Nov. 11, 2011 9:00 a.m.

More than 20 partnerships or agreements have been signed between B.C. and Chinese post-secondary institutions and organizations over  this past week, as both look to increase learning opportunities for post-secondary students on both sides of the Pacific.

It is estimated more than 2,500 students will come to B.C. communities over five years as a result of these agreements.

“B.C. post-secondary institutions are working hard to build and expand important partnerships in China, knowing that international students bring  social and cultural benefits to our communities,” said Premier Christy Clark.

“With each post-secondary international student spending about $30,000 a year  on living and schooling expenses, they also help create jobs and generate  other substantial economic benefits for our communities.”

Twelve B.C. institutions, including Royal Roads University, Capilano University, Thompson Rivers University, Vancouver Island University, BC Institute of Technology, University of BC, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of Northern BC, Douglas College, Trinity Western University, North Island College and the University of Victoria took part in ceremonies in either Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing or Chongqing.

Thompson Rivers University & Chengdu Polytechnic (Sichuan Province)

• TRU and Chengdu Polytechnic (CDP) will develop an agreement in an architecture and engineering technology program. Students will do one year at  CDP, followed by two years at TRU in the architectural and engineering technology diploma program. After a fourth (optional) year at TRU, students will graduate with a bachelor of technology management.

“International co-operation between B.C. and China means shared experiences, successes and relationships that will continue for a lifetime,” said Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto. “International students’ contributions help to create services and programming as well as cultural experiences for our domestic students.”

This mission is an opportunity to strengthen B.C.’s relationships in Asia and discover new ways to work together through the development of educational initiatives. It is also an opportunity for government to form the new trade and business relationships that will ensure the success of the BC Jobs Plan.

Approximately 39,000 international students from more than 160 countries attended a B.C. post-secondary institution last year, with an estimated 12,500 students being from China. About 58 per cent of international students in B.C. study in private institutions.

B.C.’s recently announced jobs plan, Canada Starts Here sets a goal of increasing the number of international students by 50 per cent over four years. International students in B.C. currently generate 22,000 jobs and  bring an estimated $1.25 billion into the provincial economy.

Each 10 per cent increase translates into an estimated 1,800 new jobs for families across the province.

As part of the BC Jobs Plan, Premier Christy Clark is leading the largest trade mission in the province’s history to promote B.C. as a safe harbour for investment.

The jobs and trade mission is focused on strengthening existing relationships between B.C. and Asian markets, opening doors for new relationships and setting the stage for future opportunities in China and India. Delegates from more than 130 companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations are accompanying the premier as part of the effort to defend and create jobs here at home.

Health Minister Mike de Jong will also accompany the premier during her time in India.

Japan and Hong Kong are also on the jobs and trade mission itinerary.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson will travel to Japan and Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell, ends his part of the mission in Hong Kong.