News Release Archive

Two senior Thai officials, who influence where tens-of-thousands
of Thai international students choose to study, were in Halifax
yesterday to learn more about what Nova Scotia universities and
the Nova Scotia Community College have to offer.

Nova Scotia was the only Atlantic stop on the week-long Canadian
visit by Udol Boonprakob, secretary general, Thailand Civil
Service Commission, and Sathaphon Sakolrak, director, education
and training abroad, with the civil service.

The Thailand Civil Service counsels thousands of students
interested in international study. These students are funded by
their families, are on government study leave, or are funded by
public or private scholarships. Along with making recommendations
concerning private and civil service scholarships, Mr. Sathaphon
will give out 25,000 Royal Thai Scholarships over five years to
Thai international students.

Currently, Canada attracts less than two per cent of Thai
scholarship students. In comparison, the United States attracts
40 per cent, followed by almost 30 per cent going to the United

Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison said Canada and
Nova Scotia have as much, if not more, to offer that will turn
these numbers around.

"The premier opened the door for Nova Scotia, signing a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Thailand Ministry of
Education during Team Canada," Mr. Harrison said. "Mr. Sathaphon
is literally the gatekeeper for tens-of-thousands of Thai
students who come through that door each year to study
internationally. When Mr. Sathaphon and his staff talk to these
students, I want Nova Scotia to be at the top of their minds."

Mr. Harrison thanked Saint Mary's University (SMU) for the
tremendous hospitality the university offered the Thai officials,
making them feel welcome at the university and in Nova Scotia.
SMU president Ken Ozmon met Mr. Sathaphon during the Team Canada
mission, and used the opportunity to invite him to visit the
university. Along with the Saint Mary's visit, Mr. Harrison
invited university and community college representatives to meet
with Mr. Sathaphon and Mr. Udol as part of Nova Scotia's
aggressive marketing in the Asian Pacific.

Yesterday's visit was the second time Mr. Harrison and Mr.
Sathaphon have met in less than a month. Representing Canada at
an international education conference, Mr. Harrison visited Mr.
Sathaphon at the civil service office in Thailand in early March.
"Nova Scotia was the first province back to build on the Team
Canada momentum. Timing is everything and we want to do
everything we can to ensure the doors opened by Team Canada stay
open for Nova Scotia."

Nova Scotia's international marketing plan for post-secondary
education involves the provincial government, universities and
the Nova Scotia Community College. The aim is to attract 1,000
new international students to Nova Scotia by the year 2000.

The Thai visit was organized by the Asia Pacific Institute's
Canadian Education Centre in Thailand. Funding was provided
through the Canadian International Development Agency.

The Asia Pacific Institute runs Canadian Education Centres in
seven Asian countries and Mexico.


Contact: Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615

trp                    Mar. 25, 1997 - 12:15 p.m.