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

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Jan 30, 2024

University of British Columbia

In response to the recent announcement by the Canadian government that it will set a temporary cap on the number of international students, the University of British Columbia (UBC) said Canada needs to ensure that international students continue choosing the country as their study destination.

The university stressed it will continue working closely with the provincial government and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) over the coming weeks to navigate the situation after the proposed changes, reports.

Matthew Ramsey, Director of University Affairs at UBC, says it is difficult to comment on the potential impacts that Immigration Minister Marc Miller’s announcement might have at UBC at this early stage. He adds the university will engage in discussions in the next weeks to better understand the direction proposed by the government.

Ramsey highlighted the importance of international students for UBC, pointing out the school is aware of the pressure some students face to find accommodation.

“Canada is competing globally for this talent and, with today’s announcement, needs to ensure that international students continue to consider Canada as a destination of choice,” he told Erudera News.

“UBC greatly values its international students. International students are an important part of contributing to the university’s academic and research mission. They bring unique and diverse perspectives to the learning environment and campus community.”

Ramsey stressed that UBC offers a range of support services, such as health services, academic advising, and financial assistance while highlighting the university’s commitment to student housing.

UBC has invested $670 million over the past 12 years to build 5,550 additional student residence beds on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

Acknowledging the challenges some international students face finding accommodation in Canada, UBC plans to construct 4,800 new beds over the next 10 to 15 years.

“UBC is the largest university provider of student housing in Canada with 15,325 beds on its two campuses (13,205 in Vancouver and 2,120 at UBC Okanagan). The university has also recently created a plan to construct another 4,800 beds over the next 10 to 15 years as part of the community engagement on Campus Vision 2050,” Ramsey said.

Last week, Canada announced a two-year cap on international student permits, which will result in a 35 percent decrease in study permits in 2024 compared to 2023.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller said these changes are to protect international students who enroll at colleges that do not provide adequate services and are costly but also to alleviate the housing pressures.

According to data from Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC), Canada welcomed over one million international students with active study permits in 2023. That represents a 27 percent increase from 2022.

© Amy Tran | Unsplash

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