Marc Miller, the Immigration Minister according to Bloomberg disclosed on Friday that universities and colleges will set a higher standard for services, support, and outcomes for international students, starting from the fall of 2024 semester.
Miller made it known that only Schools that meet the higher benchmark will get priority for the processing of student visas, and adequate housing will be one of the criteria; hence, every applicant’s acceptance letter from any institution will be directly confirmed with the Canadian government starting from December 1.
The minister explained that this was designed to checkmate fraud, following the alleged arrival of hundreds of Indian newcomers in Canada with fake college admissions letters.
He also reviewed that the post-graduate work permit program will be reformed to ensure it meets the needs of the labor market. Canadian educational institutions depend too much on international students as a source of income.
It is widely observed that foreign students pay an average of five times as much as Canadian students, and this has made the colleges cater to foreigners even with temporary buildings, especially in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, Ontario.
Marc Miller said at a news conference: “We know that there has been consistent underfunding of post-secondary education, particularly by provinces, depending on the province, over the years – and institutions are smart and have adapted to that.”
“That has gone through at times opportunistic fees that have been charged to international students to close a gap that is really an unnatural one and shouldn’t be the case in a country like Canada.”
According to Bloomberg in Canada, “Post-secondary institutions have increasingly relied on tuition fees as provincial funding as a share of revenue has declined from 42% in 2001 to 35% last year. Ontario, the country’s largest province, has also frozen tuition fees that can be charged to Canadians for the past three years”.
Meanwhile, from 2019 to 2020, foreigners paid 37% of tuition at Canada’s universities, while in 2021 they paid an estimated 68% of tuition at Ontario’s colleges.
Miller poured cold water on Friday that many foreign students use admission to college as a means to become permanent residents in Canada but Trudeau’s government has previously agitated for introducing a cap on international student visas.
His exact words “The federal government is coming forward and opening its arms to our provincial partners, territorial partners, to make sure we all do our jobs properly,” he said. “If that job can’t be done, the federal government is prepared to do it.”
Bloomberg revealed that international education is the main source of revenue in Canada, generating more than C$22 billion ($16 billion) to the Canadian economy annually greater than Canada’s exports of auto parts.
The influx of foreign students has caused housing shortages, leaving many without proper accommodation, and flooded labor markets in some regions where there aren’t enough jobs.
This announcement is aimed at private colleges and immigration consultants who are exploiting international students for profit.