Monday, February 23, 2009

Ottawa to allow more foreign students into Canada

(Canadian Press)

TORONTO — The federal government plans to “substantially increase” the number of foreign students it allows into the country this year.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the Announcement Friday. He didn't say how many more students will be lured here, but noted Australia allows 10 times more students from India than Canada does.

Kenney said Canadian universities are pressing for more foreign students because they pay the highest tuition fees, making them “a source of revenue.”

He said foreign students would have a chance to understand Canada’s labour market and languages, and put themselves on a “much faster pathway” to immigration.

Under a program launched last year, foreign students are eligible to apply to become permanent residents when their visas expire.

Kenney also said he expects a major reduction in the number of temporary foreign workers allowed into Canada because of the slowing economy and rising unemployment.

Commentary: I hope Minister Kenney also notes the benefits to Australian students themselves in foreign student enrollments which often reach upwards of 40-50% of local or national enrollments ratios on many campuses. The Australian public or household spending on university tuitions and especially graduate and doctoral programs are signficantly more affordable than in Canada as a result. Please do not forget to pass the savings of increased proportionally higher foreign student enrollments on to Canadian tax-payers and at the same time mandate a portion of local university profits from foreign enrollments to concrete commitments to developing offshore campuses and greater international partnerships in education.
It is a game of catch-up here in Asia for Canada and an argument could be made that Canada is twenty years behind everyone else in this regard.

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