25-Jan-2021  VCC assumes International Secretariat role of Asia-Pacific Student Exchange Network

VANCOUVER — Vancouver Community College (VCC) has become the International Secretariat of University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), overseeing student and faculty mobility to and from those regions.

VCC takes 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.

With this role, VCC, and the province, have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in international education both within Canada and globally by encouraging increased student diversity, the development of global competencies among students and strengthened intercultural awareness.

Global Affairs Canada 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.

These activities support all facets of Canada’s International Education Strategy, by increasing Canadian student outbound exchanges; by increasing the number and diversity of students coming into Canada; as well as, increasing the number and type of Canadian institutions that can send and receive international students. They also support exchanges of Canadian students who are typically underrepresented such as, Indigenous students, students from rural and smaller institutions, and students registered in vocational programs. 


Ajay Patel, President and CEO, Vancouver Community College

“We sincerely appreciate the foresight of Global Affairs Canada in supporting VCC as the new host of the UMAP International Secretariat. 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.”

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“I am thrilled to support the successful appointment of Vancouver Community College as the new International Secretariat for the UMAP Consortium and welcome the efforts of UMAP to strengthen institutional cooperation and educational mobility between countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region. 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’ internationalization objectives, strengthen bilateral relationships, and promote Canada’s international trade diversification efforts.”

Randall Martin, Executive Director, BC Council for International Education

“As Canada’s national secretariat for UMAP, we are excited to support VCC as UMAP’s International Secretariat, and we look forward to increasing accessibility and inclusivity of UMAP’s programming to all higher education institutions in Canada. VCC’s appointment recognizes 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.”

Quick facts:

  • The University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Consortium is a voluntary association of institutions and government and non-government representatives of the higher education sector. It promotes student exchanges, field schools, and online learning opportunities amongst its more than 600 member institutions worldwide.
  • Currently there are 18 Canadian post-secondary UMAP member institutions, representing six provinces and one territory.
  • Based in Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver Community College (VCC) is a publicly funded college in operation since 1965. VCC’s five-year term as UMAP International Secretariat runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025.
  • International student mobility and enrollment has been impacted by the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic and Canadian post secondary institutions continue to follow the direction of public health officials to ensure the safety of both local communities and students returning from abroad.




Media can contact:

Karen Wilson
Executive Director
Marketing and Communications
Vancouver Community College

Chelsey Laird
Senior Manager
Marketing and International Initiatives
BC Council for International Education