This year’s two-day Study in Canada Fair held at the Park Lane Hotel provided further proof of the growing interest in what the country offers prospective students. J Ian Burchett, consul general of Canada in Hong Kong was delighted with how things went and commended the efforts of all those involved. “Our consulate general team arranged a terrific event which featured a great number of Canadian educational institutions offering different levels of study,” Burchett says. “There were interesting seminars about various facets of student life in Canada, and the fair attracted a high number of Hong Kong visitors serious about pursuing education opportunities in Canada either for themselves or for their children.” Representatives from 27 universities, colleges and K-12 schools - which cover the primary and secondary years – took part and provided information on a wide range of programme options. Burchett was pleased to note that parents and students visiting the fair didn’t simply focus on the better-known names. “Of course, larger Canadian universities such as the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia always attract great interest from visitors,” he says. “But very soon people realise the quality of higher education that is available across our country from all our public institutions. Accordingly, smaller universities such as Acadia University, the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Winnipeg received serious interest as well.” Overall, visitors to the fair were impressed by the choice of schools and courses, as well as the flexible pathways towards higher education in Canada. There are pre-university programmes affiliated with the universities or offered by K-12 schools and transfer programmes offered by colleges, which enable students to apply for a university place. “Certainly, courses related to commerce and business, engineering and life sciences were of high interest,” Burchett says. “But institutions also received inquiries about other niche courses such as veterinarian science, forensic science and music.” Feedback showed that about 27 per cent of exhibitors said their main objective in attending the fair was to increase the number of students from Hong Kong. On average, each exhibitor received about 60 to 70 inquiries and some are well on the way to finalising admissions. Corrine Hamilton, co-ordinator for the Delta school district in British Columbia, which is home to seven secondary schools and 24 elementary schools, found herself in demand at the fair. “There were many parents and students asking about secondary school programmes,” she says. “I think they were drawn to our programmes because Canada has a good academic reputation, but also because many parents and/or children were Canadian passport holders looking to go back to Canada long term.” Hamilton was pleased to have taken part and thought the event was well organised, with a steady flow of visitors on both days. Noting that the Study in Canada Fair has been held for the last four years, Burchett hopes it is now a fixture on the calendar and that it will continue to build awareness and appreciation of the educational opportunities Canada has to offer.