A busy schedule in China has kept Cap’s vice-president of international programs, Catherine Vertesi, and Susan Watson, manager of Cap’s China programs, on their toes over the past few weeks. The two have been travelling with Premier Christy Clark and reps from 11 other British Columbia post-secondary institutions, all which are taking part in ceremonies in either Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing or Chongqing.
“We had several events, first in Guangzhou and then Shanghai,” Catherine said. “The Premier, as well as ministers Pat Bell and Steve Thompson, have all been very gracious in meeting and talking with the partner institutions of B.C.’s universities, institutes and colleges.
“Many of us saw alumni and the welcome to the premier was warm,” Catherine added.
A B.C. government media release said that 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.
“International cooperation 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.”
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. 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.