International Education

Last updated on July 16, 2024

B.C. sets higher standards, strengthens student protection for international education

The Province is taking further action to strengthen student supports and ensure a high-quality education for international students through higher standards and stricter requirements for institutions that enroll international students

The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills is implementing additional changes to ensure institutions deliver a quality education with the supports students need to study and succeed, including:

  • A new EQA Code of Practice (PDF) that will be integrated into coming changes to the EQA Policy. EQA institutions will be assessed against the Code of Practice standards annually, starting in January 2025.
  • Changes to the EQA policy increase the operational expectations institutions must meet to be eligible to enrol international students.
  • New Enrolment Guidelines (PDF) for public post-secondary institutions.
  • New guidelines (PDF) for public post-secondary institutions for the development of international education strategic plans that identify the goals, objectives, priorities, and student supports of the institution’s international education program.
  • Changes to how private degree-granting institutions are governed include stronger review criteria for degrees, such as for labour market alignment, and will require institutions to manage enrolment growth within their infrastructure, student resources, and services.

These changes will build on the phase 1 measures announced in January including:

  • A moratorium on new institutions seeking to host international students until February 2026;
  • Higher standards for approval of new private degree programs;
  • Strengthened standards, inspection and enforcement for private training institutions;
  • Tuition transparency for international students at public post-secondary institutions

Provincial Attestation Letters now available  

The Government of B.C. is now issuing Provincial Attestation Letters to eligible post-secondary institutions to allow new international student applicants to apply for a study permit to study in B.C. The Provincial Attestation Letter issuing system went live on March 4, 2024. 

The requirement for international student applicants to include a Provincial Attestation Letter as part of a study permit application was announced by the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on January 22, 2024. International applicants are encouraged to contact their institution for more information. 

International Education in B.C. 

International education, including international students coming to British Columbia and B.C. students travelling abroad, enrich student development and connect the province to the broader global knowledge economy.

B.C. has approximately 553,000 post-secondary students (domestic and international students in the public and private sectors). Every year British Columbia welcomes students from over 150 countries to experience a world class education and life.

International students provide opportunities for B.C. students to have more global education experiences at home and bring social and cultural benefits to communities, schools and institutions throughout the province.

At the same time, schools and institutions in the province are committed to supporting the outward mobility of British Columbia students through study and work abroad opportunities. These activities provide students with valuable intercultural learning.

Contact information

Please contact the International Education team for more information.