June 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
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Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
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Market Analysis

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British Columbia’s tertiary programmes

Tertiary course providers in British Columbia are busy catering for international students who have their sights firmly set on the job market in Canada. As a consequence international enrolments are booming, as Bethan Norris reports.

With its position close to the large student markets of Korea, Japan and China, the province of British Columbia in Canada has been popular with international students looking for tertiary education opportunities for a long time. However, education providers in the province report that international enrolments have been increasing recently from a variety of source regions.

Harpreet Virk from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, says, “Our enrolments have been very strong the last few years in terms of numbers of applications and enquiries.” He adds, “Our largest student nationality is China. As we are located on the Pacific Rim and have a large Chinese population in Vancouver, we are a natural study destination for these students.”

Jade Burke from OMNI College in Vancouver, BC, says that they have seen “significant growth” in international enrolments over the past year. “Our largest student nationalities over the last few years included Indian, Japanese and Korean students,” she adds. “We are seeing more and more students arriving now from other parts of the world, including China, the Philippines and Africa.”

While Asian nationalities make up the largest group of international students in British Columbia, students from other world regions are starting to arrive in significant numbers too, mainly attracted by courses that provide job-ready qualifications for those wanting to live and work long-term in Canada. Burke says, “Our programmes, since 1999, have always been targeted to the international student market. We specialise in training internationally educated nurses for work in Canada. We’ve built a strong, credible reputation over the last 14 years and people know our graduates get jobs.”

At North Island College in Vancouver Island, BC, too an emphasis on providing programmes that offer a seamless transfer to job opportunities in Canada have been instrumental in increasing the international student population at the college. “NIC’s international student numbers increased by about 30 per cent this last year,” says Mark Herringer at the college. “Our biggest increases were in our post-degree programmes where we have five one-year business options – accounting, HRM, international management, management and marketing – and our new two-year post-degree diploma in Global Business Management, which includes an internship option for students and then of course the option for students to work in Canada for three years after graduation.”

Other innovative activities focusing on international expansion in the province include the new international college campus programme recently approved by the governors of the University of British Columbia (UBC). The 12-month programme will offer a pathway for students who have not yet reached the required English language level to enrol on a mainstream university course. Students will take first-year credits in the arts or science faculties and, if successful, will transition into the second year of the university full degree programme. Stephen Toope, UBC President, says, “This new initiative will reach out to outstanding students from countries like Vietnam, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia – students who bring different perspectives and experiences to campus.”

With its immigration-friendly student visa policies, which allow students the chance to work after completing their course, Canada is an attractive destination for those looking for a complete life change or for those simply wanting to get a head start in their future career. However, institutions in British Columbia may be about to get a boost to their recruitment efforts in the form of support from the provincal government. “The province recently established Education Marketing Managers in a number of key markets,” says Herringer. “Part of the role of these individuals will be to promote BC education opportunities in their markets which have included some targeted events to promote BC education.”

A selection of tertiary providers in British Columbia, Canada

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Sakura House  

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Fedele Spain  
Groupement FLE  
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Ability English  
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Lexis London LTD  
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TUS Advertising  
St Giles International  

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Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

English For Asia  

Guard. Me  

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EF International Language Centers  

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Malta Tourism Authority  

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ELS Language Centers  
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