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Premier announces scholarships to encourage student exchange between India and Canada

Students from SD College in Chandigarh with UFV representative
Photo from University of the Fraser Valley website

Premier Christy Clark announced funding for 20 scholarships, worth a total of $50,000, to support and encourage the two-way exchange of students between the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and Sanatan Dharma (SD) College in Chandigarh, northern India.

"The Government of British Columbia recognizes the social, cultural and  economic benefits of student exchanges between India and British  Columbia," said Premier Clark. "This trade mission provides us with  opportunities to meet face-to-face with key representatives from many  sectors, including education. That helps us build and strengthen our  relationships."

The Premier made the announcement during a visit to the UFV campus at SD  College in Chandigarh, as part of a nine-day international trade mission  to India. The mission is focused on promoting key B.C. sectors, including  liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, clean technology, sciences, film, digital arts, education and finance.

"We are committed to increasing the number of international students  studying in British Columbia and the number of B.C. students studying  abroad," said Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk. "We hope the  scholarships will encourage more students from India to choose B.C. as their study destination so they can experience our high-quality education system first hand."

"These scholarships will allow students from B.C. and India to learn more about each other's culture and forge lifelong bonds that will benefit both jurisdictions from both an economic and social standpoint,"  said UFV president and vice chancellor Mark Evered.

Up to 10 scholarships will be awarded each year, beginning in 2015, until all 20 have been disbursed. The scholarships may be awarded for study in any discipline offered by UFV or SD College and can be applied against the cost of tuition, travel, accommodation or other costs. Students must have completed at least one year of study at either institution to be eligible.

"This gesture speaks volumes about the commitment of UFV to our institution and students alike by enabling financial support to those aspiring students who want to attain world class higher education," said president of Sanatan Dharma College Upkar Krishan Sharma.

In addition to China, the BC government has focused on India as a key export market in the BC Jobs Plan. In 2013, B.C. goods exported to India jumped by 46% to $469 million compared to the same period in 2012.

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