Ontario is the first province to stand and support international students with their challenges

support international students with their challenges

In the wake of the federal government’s announcement of plans to limit the number of foreign students entering Canada, Ontario declared a moratorium on the formation of new public-private college partnerships.

Half of all support international students studying in Canada attend schools in Ontario, making it the most populous province. 

Miller Addresses Backlash Over Immigration Changes

An estimated projection of a  $125 million financial crisis was given by the president of Sault College as a result of removing PGWP. Removal of the option for PGWP will greatly affect  Northern Ontario schools, leading to most colleges ending their partnerships. Miller responds to the backlash for this change in immigration, saying,

Miller declared, “I’m the minister of immigration, not the minister of underfunding postsecondary education”. “Clearly, in the last decade or so or even longer, post-secondary institutions in Canada have been underfunded by provinces.”

Reduction in Ontario’s Permit Total by 2024

By 2024, 360,000 international students will be approved by Ottawa and distributed among the provinces based on population, which will cause a 50% reduction in Ontario’s permit total. The distribution of enrollment among the various institutions will thereafter be determined by the provinces. Looking at the statistics, one of the panel experts suggested that Ontario should take measures to support international students, as the province generates most of its income from support international students. 

The days of many colleges and universities being able to make ends meet with just domestic students are long gone. They are financially sustainable only because of international students,” – Panel Expert.

Minister of Colleges and Universities Calls for Immediate Action

Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, stated that “immediate attention and collaborative action are required to address the challenges stemming from the recent spike in students coming to Canada, including predatory practices by bad-actor recruiters, misinformation regarding citizenship and permanent residency, false promises of guaranteed employment, and inadequate housing for students.” 

Therefore, Ontario unveiled a series of new initiatives on Friday, 26th January 2024  aimed at enhancing postsecondary education in the province and providing more protection for overseas students. These measures include encouraging all schools and institutions to ensure housing is accessible for new cohorts. 

Government Measures to Safeguard Education Quality

The government will take action to safeguard the quality of postsecondary education and encourage employment in vital industries, including skilled trades and health care. It will also examine the programs offered by postsecondary educational establishments that take in a significant number of support international students to ensure that the quality of the offerings upholds Ontario’s reputation as a global leader in education and meets the demands of the labor market in the province. Concerning private professional institutions, the government announced that it would improve oversight through improved data management, documentation procedures, and compliance audits.

The Council of Ontario Universities and Ontario Colleges have strongly opposed the cap, claiming that it has already caused “total chaos” and that it unfairly penalizes both the “bad actors” and the reputable institutions. Nonetheless, Dunlop claims, that in light of Ontario’s housing affordability crisis, the new policies to protect support international students are “sensible.”

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