Canadian Province Imposes Ban on Colleges Enrolling International Students

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

Vancouver, British Columbia

British Columbia has imposed a two-year ban on new colleges seeking to enroll international students in an attempt to fight “exploitative practices.”

The decision was announced by Post-Secondary Education Minister Selina Robinson, who said the ban is necessary to fix the international education system that has not been functioning as effectively as it should, reports.

She revealed the province began a review of the educational system in March last year, finding cases of poor-quality education, a lack of lecturers, and discouragement of students from filing formal complaints by some private institutions.

Minister Robinson mentioned the case of a student from India who arrived in British Columbia with the idea of attending in-person classes, only to find out that her entire course would be provided online.

Additionally, Robinson stated the government’s plans to impose minimum language requirements at private institutions in a bid to prepare international students before their arrival in British Columbia. She said the province will unveil more details on this matter in March.

According to her, international students are hesitant to express their complaints due to fear their actions will put their student visas at risk.

“They worry that if they complain, it will risk their student visa, and it will sacrifice all the effort their families have put into making sure they can get a quality education. So, they’re less likely to complain,” she was quoted as saying by CBC News, adding that the ministry will take more proactive measures when it comes to evaluation of programs.

British Columbia is home to 280 private schools, with 80 percent located in the Lower Mainland. Data indicate that of the 175,000 post-secondary international students in British Columbia, some 54 percent attend private institutions.

Last week, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a cap on international student permit applications for the next two years, reducing the number by 35 percent this year. The cap is expected to result in nearly 360,000 approved study permits.

“In the spirit of fairness, individual provincial and territorial caps have been established, weighted by population, which will result in much more significant decreases in provinces where the international student population has seen the most unsustainable growth,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said.

Over the past year, Canada welcomed over one million international students. That represents a 28 percent increase from the previous year.

The number has surpassed the projected figures of 949,000 international students in 2023 and more than one million in 2024.

© Aditya Chinchure | Unsplash

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