School: Students create jobs
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.