Canada Eyeing International Students

Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 had proposed a $23 million over two years for Canada’s International Education Strategy. The initiative was an effort to strengthen Canada’s position as a country of first choice to study.
The Government of Canada had long recognized that a key driver of Canada’s economy and future prosperity is international education. A study commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade noted that in 2010, international students in Canada spent over $7.7 billion on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending. International students and researchers add to skills and experience to Canadian workforce which in turn drives economic growth.

About the Initiative

Budget 2011 of Canada announced an Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy that conducted extensive consultations and presented its report to the Government on August 14, 2012. Key elements of the strategic initiative was estimated to provide $10 million over two years for international marketing activities, including plans for priority markets, improved promotion of a progressive Canadian education brand, and state of the art web marketing strategy. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will work with key post-secondary stakeholders and their member institutions to coordinate these activities.
The Government also supported enhanced processing capacity within the Temporary Resident Program and efficient timely processing. Measures have been put in place to maintain the integrity of the international student program by ensuring students are registered in properly designated educational institutions. There is flexibility for qualified international students for transition to permanent residency status. These initiatives have placed Canada’s education system on a platform of global reputation.

The Benefits

Education and knowledge have always been key drivers for a progressive economy. Attracting more international students and researchers to Canada is in the interest of creating more jobs and economic expansion through tie-ups with priority markets. The primary benefits apart, Canadian research excellence not only churn out skilled workforce but also foster closer ties between Canadian and international educational institutions.

It is pertinent India, China, South Korea and Japan contributes approximately 50% of the foreign students. More importantly, these countries have growing economies and Canada stands to benefit by capturing a part of the positive economic impact of prosperity.
According to an established estimate in 2011 about 98,000 international students had entered Canada and approximately 6,700 students earned permanent resident status. This is expected to be maintained in the years to follow. Expediting transition to permanent residence is in Canada’s interest to retain bright and talented people who already have been educated with Canadian experience.

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