Canadian Universities Receive Fewer Applications from Int’l Students Amidst Policy Changes

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Feb 08, 2024

University of Toronto, Canada

Canadian colleges and universities have witnessed a drop in the number of applications from international students following the government’s plans to impose a two-year cap on student permits.

This decline has led to Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada, representing 234 tertiary institutions, urging Immigration Minister Marc Miller to halt the plan implementation, reports.

In a letter to Miller, the two organizations voiced concerns about the situation, saying the global reputation of Canada as a top study destination is at risk.

According to them, the cap would result in long-lasting consequences not only for international students but for domestic students as well.

“Our foremost concern is the moratorium on processing new international student study permits, especially for college and undergraduate students,” the letter said.

In January, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced in a press release that the government has set a cap on international student permit applications for the next two years. Canada plans to issue 360,000 study permits to students this year, a 35 percent decrease from the previous year.

Announcing the two-year cap on international students, IRCC said that the increasing numbers of international students in the country have put pressure on housing, healthcare, and other services.

Moreover, with this move, the government said it aims to protect international students from exploitation and support sustainable population growth in the country. This, according to the government, can be done by taking measures to stabilize the enrollment of international students in Canada.

“Some institutions have significantly increased their intakes to drive revenues, and more students have been arriving in Canada without the proper support they need to succeed,” IRCC said in a statement released on January 22, 2024.

Additionally, the plan includes attestation letters submitted to IRCC from a province or territory where students plan to study. IRCC said the deadline for provinces and territories to establish a system for issuing these letters is March 31, 2024, at the latest.

However, Canadian universities and colleges have called on Minister Miller not to impose this requirement until at least March 31 or until provinces successfully establish a proper system.

International students in Canada contribute $22 billion a year to the country’s economy. Data indicate last year’s number of international students surpassed one million. This figure is up from 807,750 international students in Canada at the end of 2022.

© Ansaf Ahmad | Unsplash

Related links:

>> Australia, Canada & UK Tighten Rules on International Students Amid Post-COVID Surge

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

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