Vancouver Community College named international secretariat for UMAP

UMAP is a voluntary association of government and non-government representatives of the higher education (university) sector. It aims to improve understanding between countries in the Asia- Pacific region. 

“[It] exemplifies the diversity and strength of the Canadian academic landscape”

The institution in British Columbia is taking over from Japan’s Toyo University to manage UMAP’s network of more than 600 colleges and universities in 36 countries and territories for a five-year term.

It is hoped the role will give VCC the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in international education both within Canada and globally. 

“We sincerely appreciate the foresight of Global Affairs Canada in supporting VCC as the new host of the UMAP International Secretariat,” said VCC’s president and CEO, Ajay Patel.

“It not only positions Canada and British Columbia well, but it also exemplifies the diversity and strength of the Canadian academic landscape that a community college can lead student mobility in the most dynamic of global regions.”

The Global Affairs Canada government department is providing just under $2 million to support both short-term, inbound scholarships for students from abroad into Canadian UMAP member institutions; and for short-term outbound scholarships, for Canadian students at UMAP member institutions in Canada into UMAP member institutions in and around the Pacific Rim.

“I am thrilled to support the successful appointment of Vancouver Community College as the new International Secretariat for the UMAP Consortium,” said Mary Ng, minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade in Canada.

“This initiative will contribute to advancing our government’s International Education Strategy, by enriching our education engagement with a broad range of partners. 

“It will also support Canadian education institutions’ internationalisation objectives, strengthen bilateral relationships, and promote Canada’s international trade diversification efforts,” she added. 

Randall Martin, executive director at BC Council for International Education said that his organisation was looking forward to increasing accessibility and inclusivity of UMAP’s programming to all higher education institutions in Canada.

“VCC’s appointment recognises not only Canada as a leader in Asia Pacific academic relations but B.C.’s leadership role in shaping programs and policies in international education,” he said.

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