What has changed? According to the Canadian High Commissioner to India, Stewart G Beck, The number of Indian students enrolled in Canadian universities and educational institutions has steadily grown from 3000 in 2008 to 18500 in 2010. Many Indian students were denied visas until April 2009 before implementation of SPP which was responsible for expediting the student visa process and delivering higher approval rates without compromising on program integrity.
Canada as a study destination: Tejal Laul, director of Kampus Landing, a leading overseas education consultant based in Gujarat, India asserts that all community colleges promise an excellent quality of education and aside from Toronto or Vancouver which have been traditionally favoured cities by Indian students, studying at provinces in Quebec and Manitoba might have added advantages. The students’ Canada PR application is fast tracked if filed under Provincial Nominee Program. Colleges offer unique “co-operative education programmes” that allow students to work while studying.
Canadian universities offer diverse programmes that range from Commerce to Astronomy, Biology to Fine Art, and Media Studies to Theology. Apart from conventional study courses, there are contemporary ones like Animal Health Technology, Geology, Financial Services Management, Basic Musicianship, Intercultural and International Studies, Professional Writing, Stagecraft, Performing and Fine Arts, Associate of Arts degree amongst others.
Adult Education: According to Laul, Canada welcomes mature students’ applications. One can apply to study in Canada under SPP even at the age of 35 provided they have a genuine reason for wanting to get more education. If the mature students are not able to provide sufficient evidence to convince visa officers of their intentions, their application stands to be rejected.
What after school? Tejal Laul explains that colleges and technical institutes in Canada offer programmes that enable students to get a job directly by meeting the needs of employers or industry.
“Students studying under government-funded institutions can get up to a three-year work permit, leading to permanent residency. Finance, banking and investment are the emerging fields in Canada and present a promising future in the country. Jobs in Computer Science offer good pay and there is ample job opportunity for talented and skilled professionals”, she says.
The SPP has clearly been a roaring success in luring Indian students back to Canada after a brief dry spell when students’ visa applications were rejected in large numbers.
The Canadian plans to take the SPP to China as a next step towards globalizing Canadian education.