Education in British Columbia

British Columbia’s education institutions are famous worldwide for their top quality and high standards. The province has a variety of options for everyone, whether you want to do language studies, get a diploma or enrol your children in the education system.

Like in all other Canadian provinces and territories, it is the local government’s responsibility to manage British Columbia’s education system.

The province’s Ministry of Education holds responsibility for primary and secondary education. Post-secondary education is managed by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology.

When can my children or I study in British Columbia?

All children must attend school from kindergarten (approximately age five) until they reach 16 years of age. The school system in British Columbia is free, universal and non-sectarian.

As for tertiary education, there are six publicly funded universities in the province of British Columbia, with three of them located in the Vancouver area. Additionally, the province has an extensive college and institute system, covering academic, technical, vocational, career and adult basic education programs. There are 11 community colleges, five university colleges, five institutes and the Open Learning Agency.

Skills Connect for Immigrants Program

British Colombia offers the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program in an effort to assist new immigrants to the province secure jobs that “fully use their pre-arrival skills, knowledge and experience”.

Focused on five key sectors of the British Colombian economy – construction, transportation, energy, tourism/hospitality, and health – the program assesses the skills of new migrants and helps bridge gaps and meet skill shortage demands.

According to the Ministry of Advanced Educations and Labour Market Development, “Many B.C. immigrants possess skills in occupations where there are shortages but face challenges in navigating a complex labour market entry system, language barriers, difficulty getting their credentials recognised and lack of employment networks.

“The Skills Connect for Immigrants Program will:

  • effectively assess the skills, qualifications and experiences of recent immigrants to B.C.;
  • enhance skills, qualifications and experiences to meet B.C. labour market standards;
  • offer workplace practice opportunities, such as workplace orientation (i.e. mentorship), that will help secure and sustain employment;
  • provide career assessment and planning; and
  • support skills and other enhancements, including workplace language upgrading.”
 
 

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