Crisis for foreign students
By Matthew Hillier, Staff Writer
Canada has recently announced that it is expected to be the temporary home to close to a million new students from abroad. These numbers are expected to increase to 900,000 according to an interview by CBC’s The House with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller.
According to a report by Sen. Ratna Omidvar, Sen. Hassan Yussuff and Sen. Yuen Pau Woo, there are not enough permanent residency spots for all of these students, despite them essentially being promised residency after graduation.
“The International Student Program has been a victim of its own success. International students have a strong desire to come to Canada, however they face many challenges including high tuition fees and abuse. In many cases, they do not receive the support they need to overcome these difficulties,” says Sen. Ratna Omidvar.
In addition to a misleading perspective on permanent residency, housing may also be a concern for these new students.
Canada is currently facing a housing shortage. These students may face housing insecurity in addition to the hurdles of studying in a new country and culture, and being misled on permanent residency.
The Canadian government in response is considering a cap on yearly admissions of international students to ease the strain on the housing market. However, some universities are pushing back against this.
Still, one big question remains: Why?
Why is our government introducing such a large number of students despite knowing that they will likely face residency, economic and housing insecurity?
Applyboard says it’s because it makes the government approximately $22.3 billion a year.
Hosting international students is a win-win for the Canadian government and its various postsecondary institutions. International students spend their money in Canada, work in Canada, owe student debt to Canada, and finally may continue to live and work here long after their student life is over.
The government, in comparison, shares this in a statement from its International Education Strategy report:
“International education is an essential pillar of Canada’s long-term competitiveness. Canadians who study abroad gain exposure to new cultures and ideas, stimulating innovation and developing important cross-cultural competencies. Students from abroad who study in Canada bring those same benefits to our shores.”