Private Career Training Institutions Agency of BC



February 06, 2014 15:03 ET

Ministry Announces International Student Program Criteria

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 6, 2014) - The Ministry of Advanced Education today announced new eligibility requirements coming into effect June 2014 for post-secondary institutions wishing to enrol international students.

These new requirements will have a significant impact on the private career training sector. All post-secondary institutions and language schools, training international students in programs six months or longer, will be required to have British Columbia's Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation.

There are currently 317 registered career training institutions in British Columbia, 162 of which are currently not accredited and not eligible for the EQA designation. Of those, more than 40 rely either wholly or partially on international students. For these institutions to continue to recruit internationally, they must now meet the higher standards of PCTIA accreditation.

"We are very pleased to hear the Minister's announcement. EQA is a strong international brand. This requirement will assist in providing international students with positive experiences while studying at private career training institutions in British Columbia," says Karin Kirkpatrick, Registrar and CEO of the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA).

Institutions will have 18 months to meet the new requirements, however Karin Kirkpatrick recommends beginning the process early. "In order to avoid delays due to the anticipated increase in applications, I would strongly advise non-accredited private career training institutions to begin the application process as soon as possible," states Kirkpatrick.

PCTIA will be holding an information session on the accreditation process. Further information available at: pctia.bc.ca/news/2014/international-student-program.

The Ministry's announcement is in response to the federal government's International Student Program, and BC's requirements are consistent with those set by other jurisdictions in Canada. The BC government has committed to increasing the number of international students in the province by 50 percent by 2016. Established in 2009, the EQA designation was the first education seal of quality in Canada. More information on EQA is available at: bceqa.ca/educators/eligibility.

PCTIA is a BC Provincial Crown Corporation under the Ministry of Advanced Education.

Mission: To support quality education in British Columbia's private post-secondary career training sector through regulating standards and providing protection to students.

Contact Information

  • Media enquiries:
    Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA)
    Nadia Stefyn
    Communications Coordinator
    (778) 945 5092
    communications@pctia.bc.ca