Canada on Int’l Student Cap: We’ll Review Program to Better Select & Retain Students

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Sep 26, 2023

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As Canada tries to address its housing crisis, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said they are aware of the pressure the international education sector is facing and pledged to provide enhanced support to international students while in the country.

Canada is experiencing a housing shortage, and the government is considering putting the first-ever cap on international students as a way to solve the crisis, Erudera.com reports.

Speaking to Erudera News, IRCC said it is assessing its international student program to select and retain international students effectively while offering them the right support.

“Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada acknowledges the pressures that our International Student Program is facing. The Department is undertaking a review of the program to examine how it can better select and retain students while ensuring that they are well-supported while in Canada,” IRCC told Erudera News.

The department confirmed it is currently looking at several alternatives to take the right approach to the situation, adding that it will continue to work closely with provinces and territories, national educational institutions, and others to solve the housing challenges.

“IRCC is currently looking at a number of options in order to take a multifaceted approach to this and will continue to work closely with provinces and territories, national educational institutions and other key partners to address ongoing challenges such as housing,” IRCC said, adding that any future policy remains undecided.

Canadian Housing Minister Sean Fraser proposed the idea of capping international student numbers as an option the country must consider to alleviate the housing affordability crisis.

However, the Minister said that the authorities should initially consult institutions to become more aware of international students’ role in reducing pressure on their communities.

The possible cap on international students was opposed by Canadian provinces, insisting on the importance of international students in Canada. Representatives of two provinces said they have not been consulted on the matter yet.

The latest discussion on the international student cap came after the number of international students in the country skyrocketed last year.

According to official data, international students with valid visas in Canada increased from 275,000 in 2012 to more than 800,000 in 2022. This significant increase has intensified the housing crisis, affecting not only international students but also Canadian residents.

Estimates show that this year, the number of international students in Canada could reach more than 900,000. Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the large number of international students is not only worrying when it comes to housing but also when it comes to Canadian’s trust in the immigration system.

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