New relationships and stronger ties are just two of the benefits that will flow from the first batch of scholarship winners from China, Japan, and South Korea heading over the Pacific to study in British Columbia.
Education Minister Mike Bernier announced today that the first 120 elementary, secondary and post-secondary students from China, South Korea and Japan have just received International Student Ambassador Scholarships worth $1,250 each so they can pursue studies in B.C. schools. The three participating countries will each receive 40 scholarships.
Not only will students from the province's partners be exposed to the B.C. education system at the secondary and post-secondary levels, they will also be studying alongside B.C. students, which will have benefits for our children too. Student winners will be welcomed into communities throughout the province. Students will be coming to districts like Surrey, Peace River North, and Nechako Lakes and are going to help build international education programs at local schools.
The scholarships strengthen the already strong education and trade relationships between the three Pacific Rim countries and British Columbia. The program provides scholarships for students nominated by a B.C. school district or independent school.
The scholarships also highlight B.C.'s Asia-Pacific leadership in Canada - B.C. is currently the only provincial jurisdiction in Canada to offer high-school-level scholarships to international students. The program was first announced during the Ministry of Education's Asia trade mission in the summer of 2015.
Students were recruited and nominated by B.C. school districts, independent schools and B.C. certified offshore schools and the successful applicants were chosen based on locally determined criteria, such as the demonstration of excellence in academics. About half the award winners will go to students entering a B.C. high school and half will go to students graduating from a B.C. high school who will attend a B.C. post-secondary institution starting in September 2016. The high school winners will study in 27 schools, eight independent schools and five offshore schools.
All award funding is drawn from fees collected by the BC Offshore School Program - there is no cost to taxpayers. The program will be offered again next school year.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education -
"Our education system is preparing the next generation for success in our changing world. Helping our students connect with the world is a key part of that. These scholarships will connect our students with international perspectives and voices, and that will happen throughout the province. Our Asia-Pacific ties will only grow stronger."