University of British Columbia’s International Student Initiative

Implications for Provincial Public Higher Education

  • Peter Wylie University of British Columbia
Keywords: Education, Higher Education, Neoliberalism, Education Policy


The public and private universities and colleges of the Province of British Columbia (BC), Canada, have been given a green light to admit as many international students as they can by Canada and BC’s international education strategies, becoming important instruments of not just higher education policy but also immigration, trade and labour market policy. This paper examine this issue in the context of the BC’s flagship public university, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the implications for both UBC and the BC higher education system in general. The paper finds a neoliberal policy disconnect between immigration, trade and labour market policy on the one hand, and domestic higher education policy on the other. With public universities such as UBC aiming to have over 30 percent of their students international by 2022, does attention to attracting international students reduce attention to the skills and training of BC and Canadian students?