School: Stu­dents cre­ate jobs

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Par­tic­i­pants also at­tended the cel­e­bra­tion of 20th an­niver­sary of the Maple Leaf Ed­u­ca­tional Sys­tem in China, which es­tab­lished the first B.C. off­shore school in China and has now ex­panded to 31 schools.

Ac­cord­ing to statis­tics from the B.C. Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, in 2013 there were 25,800 Chi­nese in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in BC in­clud­ing 4,300 in kinder­gartens and el­e­men­tary schools, which rep­re­sented 23 per­cent of the to­tal 112,800 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in the prov­ince. China is the top source coun­try for all in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in B.C.

About 17,000 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents are in B.C.’s kinder­gartens and el­e­men­tary schools, con­tribut­ing C$400 mil­lion to the prov­ince’s econ­omy.

“It’s true that in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion sec­tors are an im­por­tant part of the prov­ince’s econ­omy,” said Ben Ste­wart, B.C.’s trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Bei­jing.

In 2014 there were 656,000 Chi­nese in­ter­na­tional stu­dents study­ing in Canada, a 21 per­cent in­crease from 2013.

The min­istry es­ti­mates that by 2022 Canada will have 450,000 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, which will cre­ate 173,000 jobs as­so­ci­ated with in­ter­na­tional stud­ies in Canada. The rev­enue brought by in­ter­na­tional stu­dents will also in­crease to C$16.1 bil­lion.

In 2010 the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment launched the Na­tional Plan Out­line on Medium and Long-Term Ed­u­ca­tion Re­form and Devel­op­ment ( 20102020), one of the key com­po­nents is to en­cour­age in­ter­na­tional ex­change and stu­dent pro­grams.

“Even be­fore I came here I was well aware that in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion and ex­change is a pri­or­ity for China and that has been more re­in­forced dur­ing this time I visit China,” Fass­ben­der said. “China is no longer emerg­ing in ed­u­ca­tion, but is be­com­ing one of the lead­ers in ed­u­ca­tion.”

He added that China is one of the top 10 coun­tries listed in the prov­ince’s long-stand­ing ed­u­ca­tional strate­gic.

In April, the B.C. trade mission to China pro­moted ex­change op­por­tu­ni­ties and an­nounced al­most $1.4 mil­lion for more than 300 schol­ar­ships for stu­dents in B.C. and China.

Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter An­drew Wilkin­son led the B.C. del­e­ga­tion.

“The B.C. brand is well rec­og­nized in China,” Wilkin­son said.

Min­is­ter Peter Fass­ben­der and Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ben Ste­wart an­nounced the schol­ar­ship in Bei­jing on Mon­day.

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