BCCIE and ExpoPlaza Latina co-host panel discussion on education collaboration

Sep 21, 2016    Source: Chantal Moore


BCCIE and ExpoPlaza Latina co-hosted an engaging panel discussion yesterday in Vancouver on Education Collaboration between BC and Latin America. The objective was to further conversations on enhancing academic, education, mobility, training and labour ties among schools and districts, post-secondary institutions, communities and organizations in Latin America and BC.

Key presenters included:

  • Dr. Pedro Marquez, Vice-President, Global Advancement, Marketing and Business Development at Royal Roads University
  • Dr. Nancy Johnston, Executive Director, Student Affairs at Simon Fraser University
  • Regina Saimoto, Regional Director, Eastern Region at Northwest Community College
  • Nancy Mott, Manager, Digital Entertainment and Interactive at the Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Dr. Randall Martin, Executive Director, BCCIE
  • Paola Murillo, Executive Director, Latincouver
  • Shane Moore, Director, Recruitment and Admissions, SFU Beedie School of Business

This event followed two successful roundtables hosted by BCCIE on advancing the dialogue between education partnerships in our province and Latin America. BCCIE has been working closely with the Latin America Consular Corps in Vancouver, a group representing a strong number of countries in the Americas. We have also been working closely with the BC Ministry of Education, BC Ministry of Advanced Education and the BC Ministry of International Trade.

Emerging themes and discussions

  • Participants were unanimous on the benefits of building educational ties between BC and Latin America. Increased mobility funding would be helpful on all fronts.
  • They also agreed that there was a stronger need to articulate the benefits of study abroad to employers. For students and education professionals, the benefits are clear, but there is a mismatch in conveying the advantages of international learning to employers.
  • There is also a need for smoother transitions for international students to enter the BC workforce, and Dr. Johnston presented findings from the ACE Research Committee that showed the varied perceptions Canadian employers have of graduates from international pathways. Understanding employers’ viewpoints toward internationally schooled candidates can lead to better graduate outcomes.
  • There was much interest from the audience in learning whether the National Occupational Standards being analyzed and discussed between Canada and Colombia in the mining sector can be applied to other sectors and to other countries in the region.
  • BC can be leveraged as a world-class creative media hub to attract top talent and transfer knowledge to other countries.
  • Finally, in response to the question of brain drain, it was stressed that while some students in the short-term stay abroad after their education to begin careers, in the long-term many return home and give back to their country.

Next steps

We can expect continued events between BC and Latin America as both our regions look to diversify their student and faculty populations. To stay up to date, visit our events page.