Canada: College Presidents Worried Over International Student Partnerships

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Feb 01, 2024

Canada

Some educational institutions in Canada have raised concerns over the potential impact of recent rules imposing cap on international student number on agreements between private and public colleges in the province, local media reports say.

Last week, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced that the number of international student permits will be reduced by 35 percent this year, compared to 2023, Erudera.com reports.

According to college presidents, these rules can lead to the end of partnerships between colleges in Ontario, putting crucial income for institutions outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) at risk.

Speaking to The Trillium, David Orazietti, the current president of Sault College and a former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister, said the lack of a housing strategy has intersected with the immigration policies, causing the challenge and affecting international students.

He argued that international students have become the target for the government to address Canadians’ frustration over high rent costs and a lack of affordable housing.

As part of the rules, the government will also stop granting study permits to some students after graduation.

“Starting September 1, 2024, international students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post­graduation work permit upon graduation,” IRCC said in a statement.

Orazietti said this policy shift will likely lead to the end of most partnerships because international students will no longer be interested in studying in Canada as long as they are not given a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) and permanent residency.

Kristine Morrissey, the president of Sudbury’s Cambrian College, expressed the same concern, saying the college she leads may also face termination of partnership with a private college.

She said Cambrian College collaborates with Hanson College, enrolling more than 6,200 international students on North York and Brampton campuses, with 3,000 students attending Cambrian’s main campus in Sudbury.

The Canadian government plans to reduce the approved study permits to 360,000 in 2024. Each province and territory will be allocated a proportion based on their population.

The government said provinces experiencing the most unsustainable growth in international students will see the most significant drop.

Canada is one of the best study destinations for international students, especially for the chance to obtain a work permit after graduation.

According to official data, more than one million international students had active visas in Canada in 2023.

Related:

>> Ontario Urges Universities to Guarantee Housing for Each International Student

>> University of British Columbia on Int'l Student Cap: Canada Needs to Ensure It Remains Chosen Study Destination

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