The Vancouver School Board enrolls more than 110,000 students in its elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, making it the second-largest school district in the province. The district administers about 74 elementary schools, 17 elementary annexes, 18 secondary schools, 7 adult education centres, 2 Vancouver Learn Network schools, all which include 18 French immersion, a Mandarin bilingual, a fine arts school, gifted, and Montessori. More than 46 independent schools of a wide variety are also eligible for partial provincial funding and educate approximately 10% of pupils in the city.
There are five public universities in the Greater Vancouver area, the largest being the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU), with a combined enrolment of more than 80,000 undergraduates, graduates, and professional students in 2008. UBC consistently ranks among the 40 best universities in the world, and is among the 20 best public universities, and SFU ranked as the best comprehensive university in Canada by Maclean’s University Rankings in 2009 and among the 200 best universities in the world. UBC's main campus is located on the University Endowment Lands on Point Grey, the tip of Burrard Peninsula, with the city-proper adjacent to the east. SFU's main campus is in Burnaby. Both also maintain campuses in Downtown Vancouver. The other public universities are Capilano University in North Vancouver, the Emily Carr University of Art and Design on Granville Island in Vancouver, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University with four campuses all outside the city proper. Five private institutions also operate in the region: Trinity Western University in Langley, and University Canada West, NYIT Canada, and Fairleigh Dickinson University and Columbia College all in Vancouver.
Vancouver Community College and Langara College are publicly funded college-level institutions in Vancouver, as is Douglas College with three campuses outside the city. The British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby provides polytechnic education. These are augmented by private institutions and other colleges in the surrounding areas of Metro Vancouver that provide career, trade, and university-transfer programs, while the Vancouver Film School provides one-year programs in film production and video game design.
International students and English as a Second Language (ESL) students have been significant in the enrolment of these public and private institutions. For the 2008–2009 school year, 53% of Vancouver School Board's students spoke a language other than English at home.
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