Reflecting on BCCIE and IPSEA’s Winter 2017 Mission to Southeast Asia

IPSEA’s inaugural education mission led to great successes for the K-12 sector overseas

From January 8–14, 2017, BCCIE and the BC International Public School Education Association (IPSEA) partnered on a successful education mission to Vietnam and Thailand with the aim of attracting more K-12 (elementary- and secondary-level) students to British Columbia and promoting the province as an ideal study destination.

Eighteen public school districts from across the province joined the Mission with stops in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Bangkok. Participants were led through a busy week of one-on-one meetings with agents, networking events and briefing sessions on the local market. Vietnamese agents were carefully selected not only for their interest in BC, but also the K-12 market. The Mission was an excellent opportunity for districts to advance their relationships with local partners and develop new ones.

“District representatives appreciated the opportunity to spend time with colleagues from all across the province, allowing them to discuss common issues and opportunities with colleagues from the same jurisdiction,” said BCCIE’s Alan Schroeder, associate director, external relations, who accompanied IPSEA on the Mission.

The Mission also had the support of the Trade and Immigration sections of the Consulate General of Canada in HCMC and the Embassy of Canada in Thailand. Immigration support, in particular to minors (i.e., students at the K-12 level) is an important factor for successful market growth.  

"IPSEA delegates appreciated the opportunity to meet directly with representatives from these sectors. The briefings and Q&A session provided updates and intel that assist continued growth and success of BC schools from these regions,” said IPSEA’s Executive Director Kathren Clarke who supported IPSEA delegates on the Mission. 

Following the success of this inaugural mission to Southeast Asia, BCCIE and IPSEA are in discussions about organizing similar event to other markets in the future. IPSEA is grateful to BCCIE for their collaboration on this important first mission.

Additional background

Education missions are an important part of BCCIE’s work to diversify our international student populations and attract new students into the province, who enrich our classrooms and strengthen our economies.

Both Vietnam and Thailand are important markets for BC. Both are rapidly rising economies with young and growing populations. According to data released by the Federal Government, as of December 31, 2015, there were more than 1,400 long-term students from Vietnam and almost 800 long-term students from Thailand in BC.

For more information on our upcoming Missions or other International Education events, please visit the BCCIE events page.

Media contact
Chantal Moore
Manager, Communications