Since 2001 the government of British Columbia has founded seven new universities.

Region Overview

British Columbia is full of natural beauty, something reflected in its motto, "Splendor Without Diminishment." The Canadian province is known for its rugged coastline, mountainous fjords, clear lakes, and lush rainforests. Its location on the western edge of North America meant that Europeans didn't visit there until the 1700s, when British, Russian, and Spanish explorers established fur trading posts. British Columbia was a British colony until 1871, when it joined Canada. It grew swiftly in wealth and population once it was linked to the Canadian Pacific Railway. But its economic growth has been erratic, a series of booms and busts that reflect the nature of an economy based on trade in natural resources, such as coal, gold, hard rock, lumber, and fish.


British Columbia's climate is very varied due to its diverse topography. The coastal region has a very mild winter climate (particularly in comparison to the rest of the country) with lots of rainfall. November and February tend to be the wettest months, while May and September are probably the best times to visit the coast. Vancouver enjoys a maritime climate, with mild winters and warm summers, though summers tend to be fairly short. Although winters can be notoriously rainy, there are often long periods of continuous sunshine in the summertime, when visitors come to explore the region's natural beauty. Snowfall is rare in the city, but is more than adequate for the ski slopes on the Coast Mountains to the north. The interior to the east of the Coast Mountains has a much drier climate with warm summers and cool winters. The Rockies enjoy a warm to hot summer from May to September, with heavy snowfalls during winter. The northern part of the province has generally much colder winters and cooler summers than the rest of BC.

Annual rainfall
Total annual precipitation is just 608 mm (23.9 in) at the Gonzales weather station in Victoria, contrasted to nearby Seattle, (137 km/85 mi away to the southeast), with 970 mm (38.2 in) of rainfall, or Vancouver, 100 km away, with 1,219 mm (48 in) of rainfall. Perhaps even more dramatic is the difference in rainfalls on Vancouver Island. Port Renfrew, just 80 km from Victoria on the wet southwest coast of Vancouver Island receives 3,671 mm (144.5 in)


Canada GDP is $1,300,000,000,000


Canada total population is 33,487,208

Overview of Higher Education

Since 2001 the government has founded seven new universities in British Columbia and created some 36,000 new places for postsecondary students at the province’s 11 universities, 11 colleges, and three specialized institutes. All 25 institutions are publicly funded.

The province also has three private universities, five private colleges, and six theological colleges.

Each year more than 140,000 international students study in the province. The figure represents about 30 percent of all international students pursuing higher education in Canada.

(Sources: Government of British Columbia, British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, the Encyclopedia of British Columbia)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 25

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (private/non-state): 17

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: over 440,000

Number of international students enrolled: more than 24,000

Contact Information

Ministry of Science and Universities (responsible for the 11 universities)

P.O. Box 9080, STN Prov Government, Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Web site: http://www.gov.bc.ca/aved/

Phone: 250 356-2771

E-mail: ALMD.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Contact: Ida Chong, Minister



Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development
(for public colleges and institutions, as well as for oversight of private post-secondary institutes)

P.O. Box 9059, STN Prov Government, Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Web site: http://www.gov.bc.ca/resd/

Phone: 250 356-2771

E-mail: ALMD.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Contact: Ida Chong, Minister