Canada unveils five-year international education strategy

The Canadian Government has unveiled its new five-year international education strategy which calls for greater diversity, innovation and global ties.

A key aim of the government’s new CDN$148-million international education strategy is to increase the variety of source countries for international students.

Currently, more than 50 per cent of Canada’s total international student intake come from China and India, and they are concentrated in large cities such as Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. The strategy’s expanded recruitment efforts will target Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, France and Ukraine.

The international education strategy also aims to diversify where international students study in Canada, hoping to bring foreign talent to locations that usually receive fewer immigrants than large urban centres.

The Minister of International Trade Diversification, James Carr, said international students stimulate innovation and develop cross-cultural competencies.

“If [students from abroad] choose to immigrate to Canada, they contribute to Canada’s economic success,” Carr said in a statement. “Those who choose to return to their countries become life-long ambassadors for Canada and for Canadian values.”

Another element of Canada’s international education strategy is an investment of nearly CDN$100 million in Canadians studying overseas, focusing on groups that historically have been denied such opportunities such as Indigenous people, low-income and people with disabilities.

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, said that international students are “often ideal candidates for permanent residency,” in a statement from the International Education Strategy.

“The strategy builds on the attributes that have made Canada a destination of choice for international students: strong schools and programs of study in both English and French; welcoming and diverse communities with an enviable quality of life, and opportunities to start careers and pursue permanent residency,” Hussen said.

Since the start of 2019, more than 570,000 foreign study permit holders in Canada have contributed over CD$21 billion to the Canadian economy.

Article published 29th August 2019