Canada steps up its international student recruitment

Canada should double its recruitment of international students over the next decade, according to an expert panel commissioned by the federal government.

The panel, which reported last month, called for an increase in scholarships and greater coordination between the provinces, which have responsibility for higher education.  The new strategy would also include extra investment in marketing and faster processing of visa applications.

Chaired by Amit Chakma, the president of Western University, Ontario, the panel noted that increasing enrolments from 239,000 to more than 450,000 might do no more than maintain Canada’s current 5 per cent share of the international student market. A series of reports has forecast continuing rapid growth in international student mobility.

Canada is in a good position to attract more students because its universities enjoy a good reputation and the country is seen as offering a safe, multicultural environment, the panel argued. Numbers have grown by 36 per cent since 2007.

The report, entitled International Education, a Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity, called for 8,000 new scholarships for international students to be funded by the federal and provincial governments, with help from private sources. It also proposed that 50,000 Canadian students should be assisted to take courses overseas.

If adopted, the strategy will be Canada’s first on international education. Overseas students are seen as boosting the economy through their fees and other spending, but also by plugging future skills shortages when they graduate. It is estimated that international students spent a total of $8-billion in Canada during 2010, up from $6.5-billion in 2008.

Provinces such as British Columbia have already announced their own plans to recruit more international students. But Dr.Chakma said a “united front” was needed because few international students would recognise Canadian provinces and were more likely to choose their destination by country.





Indian students make a beeline for Canadian universities

By Kanika Tandon, Education Writer

Indian students looking to study abroad are finding Canada an increasingly desirable destination. “Indian students have rediscovered Canada in the last few years,” says Simon Cridland, Head of the Advocacy Programme at the High Commission of Canada in India. The High Commission has witnessed a considerable increase in student visas issued over the past two years. In 2008, the total number of Indian candidates applying for Canadian student visas was a relatively small, but decent 3,000. However, 2010 statistics reveal that the figure has soared to 12,000. Embassy officials are reportedly confident that the numbers will double again over the next two years.

Enrolment figures at the University of Toronto (ranked 29th in QS World University Rankings® 2010), which has seen a massive increase in Indian student enrolment, corroborate this. Richard Levin, Executive Director of Enrolment Services at the University, informs us that between 2006 and 2010, the university recorded a 27 per cent increase in applications and a 52 per cent increase in Indian students registering for undergraduate programs.

The steady growth in the country’s popularity as a higher education destination among Indians can be ascribed to several factors, including the consistent efforts of the Canadian and Indian governments to cement their bilateral ties. With 3 of its universities in the Top 50 of QS World University Rankings® 2010, Canada offers higher education which is internationally recognized and globally respected for its quality – it also helps that tuition is relatively low! “Canada generally is a safe, peaceful, affordable and attractive destination for international students, with an excellent education system,” says Levin. Read more

HE News Brief 7.3.11

by Abby Chau

  • Statistics recently released by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada shows that a growing amount of young people are now entering into higher education. 32,000 more students are enrolled in 2010 which represents a 3.7% increase from 2009. Ontario universities has seen a 49% increase in applications since 2000. Some are warning that the increase in students will be a drain on government funds as numbers continue to expand.
    Full Story: Macleans
  • Sir Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics since 2003, resigned recently over allegations of acceptance of a £1.5 million donation from a charity foundation run by one of the sons of the controversial and eccentric Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Wikileaks cables show that LSE may not be the only institution connected to the Libyan government and this is just the beginning of a series of revelations concerning universities’ role in legitimizing the government. LSE, for its part, said that it would donate the funds to promote higher education in North Africa.
    Full Story: Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Academic and deputy director of research at Kent Business School Dennis Tourish recently laid claim that journal lists are detrimental to innovative research, particularly pointing out that the Q index used by some institutions such as the University of Queensland is flawed. The Q index measures research income, higher degree completions, research publication, and advisory loads, among others. Tourish says that the emphasis on journal lists is encouraging conformity and academic malaise. Queensland’s deputy vice-chancellor has reputed the claims saying that the Q index is a good tool to assess academic quality but other factors are taken into account such as teaching loads and performance.
    Full Story:  The Australian
    Read more