An artist's impression of the proposed Education Mega Center in Surrey, B.C.
CIBT announces plans for new education hub in B.C.

Canada-based CIBT Education Group has announced an agreement with a real estate development company to create an Education Mega Center in Surrey, British Columbia (B.C.).

A formal purchase and development agreement for the CAN$230 million (US$168 million) project has been signed with WestStome Group, and subject to city planning approval will create a 550,000-square-feet, 58-floor student housing facility.


The Education Mega Center will be located between the Simon Fraser University (Surrey Campus) and the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey Campus), and will be across the street from the Surrey Central SkyTrain station and public transit bus loop.


CIBT Education Group said there would be 15-to-20 education institutions located within the complex. "The Mega Center will add substantial value to the B.C. education sector by providing a turn-key platform for a variety of educational institutions wishing to expand their presence to Metro Vancouver, and for them to capture a piece of action from the international education market. More importantly, the housing component of the Mega Center will create a clean, safe and convenient location for all students from within Canada and abroad," the company said.


Brian Regehr, President and CEO of the WestStone Group, said, "With the tremendous influx of domestic and international students, we are so proud to be able to bring this exceptional education building into the City of Surrey and to welcome the students here. When you couple CIBT's years of experience and knowledge in the education field to our expertise in developing high-quality buildings, you have a recipe for success that assures the Surrey-based Education Mega Centre will be the location of choice for preferred student housing."


Explaining the rationale for the project, Toby Chu, President, CEO and Chairman of CIBT Education Group, said Canada had experienced rapid growth in international student numbers in recent years, and that they expected the trend to continue in the Metro Vancouver region.


A planning permission application for the project was submitted to the City of Surrey department last week, CIBT said.


CIBT Education Group recently acquired the assets of KGIC Inc., another Canadian education investment company. The education portfolio of CIBT includes career colleges and English language schools under the Sprott Shaw brand.



By Matthew Knott

News Editor