Message from the Executive Director
Welcome to the British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE). We are proud to play a role in supporting the provincial government and in helping to coordinate the dynamic and growing sector of International Education.
International Education is a two-way street, in some ways the child of globalization and in others its antithesis and remedy. Our sector is enjoying unprecedented growth and attention as it matures and gains both national and provincial profile. It is now the fifth largest export sector in the province and in a myriad of ways is influencing our local communities, our demographics and the future of our skilled labour force. But we must remain attentive to not diminish the values that propelled us to these ranks: economic advancement and prosperity of course, but also the spirit of global citizenry, development and human support, cultural curiosity and the universality of scholarship.
BC’s International Education Strategy is timely in that it has emerged coincidentally with a national Canadian strategy. This emergence of two complementary strategies marks BC’s leadership in the field but also signals the maturity and growth of International Education in the eyes of both national and provincial authorities. These jurisdictions have been nudged into step with what practitioners and leaders have known for some time: the importance of International Education as a driver of our economy, education sector, demographics and communities, and a catalyst for individual change and experiential learning.
One of the great benefits of the BC Strategy is its focus on the various sectors and sub-sectors that make up International Education, sectors that have complemented one another in a sometimes organic and informal fashion. We have accomplished so much in BC by the leadership and vision of individuals, districts, schools and institutions and the ongoing and generous support of communities across the province.
But it is in our collective interests to pursue a path of coordination and cooperation. We have a unique opportunity, when International Education is squarely on the agenda of our nation and province, to examine our values and priorities and to influence the directions we take with our province and with our sector. We share common values, a common purpose, a dedication to professionalism and the student experience, and a collegiality unsurpassed in our profession and it is within our reach to remain global leaders in the delivery of this mandate.
Dr. Randall Martin