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Alumni spotlight

Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment. 

Ernie Kwok BA'01 (Anthropology)

Ernie Kwok BA'01 (Anthropology)


Ernie Kwok holds a foreign expert certificate issued by the Chinese government and has published more than 20 English education textbooks. His company operates more than 400 schools and international programs in China.    

Ernie Kwok graduated in 2001 with a B.A. in Anthropology (First class honours). He was enrolled and completed his first year of a Masters program in the department including a full season of fieldwork. While he was researching parental choice in China, Ernie's passion for education in China was awakened. He has said that the lessons he received in ethnographic methods, fieldwork and cultural relativism helped him to quickly adapt to a foreign cultural system.  Forging close ties with his research subjects during his graduate level fieldwork led Ernie to develop a strong network and eventually allowed him to create a new company to fill a niche that he identified in his research. 

Rockies International Education Institute (the company he formed) has grown exponentially since 2001, with more than 500 locations in more than 40 Chinese cities. In 2003, he founded the Rockies Consultation and Management Company (RCMC).  RCMC facilitates cultural exchange between Canada and China, providing legal access for international students to study abroad and has trained more than 1000 teachers from Canada to legally work in China. The company is valuated at 120 million RMB (23.2 million CDN) and is listed on the Dalian stock exchange.

Ernie communicated that much of the success he has had is accredited to the training in anthropology that he received through the University of Calgary, and the theoretical and practical instructions that my teachers laboriously passed on.