Canada to boost presence overseas to attract more international students

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Canada aims to gain the interest of a wider scope of international students by enhancing its international presence with the objective of expanding classroom diversity and drive economic benefits that already add up to billions per year.

The economic impact of foreign students almost doubled between 2010 to 2016, when they come to a total of $15.5 billion in Canada for everything from tuition fees to rent and groceries, according to a federal analysis.

The report revealed that the sector has sustained approximately 170,000 jobs in 2016 and had greater economic impacts than Canada’s exports of auto parts, aircraft and lumber. Most foreign students have been coming from India and China, while recent years have witnessed the increment from countries of developing economies such as Vietnam.

Representatives from universities, colleges and the federal government are now in the initial stage of creating an “aligned” strategy that will expand campaigns in the rest of the world, Universities Canada president Paul Davidson pointed out in an interview. He foresees Canada to advocate itself as an education destination in places with growing economies and large populations of young individuals such as Colombia and parts of Africa.

Davidson mentioned that Canada is targeting countries where there is an increasing middle-class demand for higher education, a position where Canada has relationships and connections.

Canada has constantly been an enticing location for students. In 2000, federal numbers illustrated that there were 122,665 valid study permits in Canada – a number that reached 572,415 last year, representing a growth of 467 percent. Numbers consolidated by Universities Canada say full-time international student enrolment at universities increased by approximately 15 percent across Canada between 2017 and 2018.

The 2018 hike happened despite a diplomatic discord last August between Canada and Saudi Arabia, which has been one of the leading home countries for international university students.

The Saudi government ceased diplomatic relations with Canada, removed the Canadian ambassador and recalled its own envoy to Ottawa after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her department criticised the regime on Twitter of its arrest of social activists. Saudi Arabia also called for thousands of its citizens studying in Canada to return home.

Davidson pointed out that diplomatic efforts by the federal officials and the higher-education community aided in minimising the consequences.

Last month’s federal budget shared that close to $148 million of funding over five years was put in place for international education, part of which will be appropriated to attract more foreign students to Canada.

International Trade Minister Jim Carr pointed out that besides economic impacts, international students often create critical, decades-long relationships with Canada. In addition, Denise Amyot, president and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada, mentioned international students bring new contexts that help their Canadian classmates better fanthom the world. Their higher tuition fees bolster institutions and make certain more programs are offered to all students.

Further with amendments made to the immigration policy, Canada have helped its universities be globally competitive in gaining more interest from mobile post-secondary students. In addition, the policy changes have allowed foreign students to work in Canada while studying; and enhanced a graduate’s opportunity to receive permanent residency. As such, this has helped to resolve the challenge of manpower shortage in Canada too.

Source: Citynews

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