It was announced in the Fall Economic Statement of the Canadian government in 2018 that GAC (Global Affairs Canada) and ESDC ( Employment and Social Development Canada) will be leading the development of a new strategy related to international education. The national budget of the country also talks about the new national strategy with important funding declarations.
Here are few aspects which relates to the trend of post study work permit to study in Canada.
Canada’s International Education Strategy:
The budget provided an initial expenditure of 147.9 million CAD for five years for supporting the new strategy for international education. This was used to fund pilot programs to increase outbound mobility for post-secondary students who want to study in Canada. It also helped to promote Canada as a study abroad destination to prospective international students planning to study in Canada and partners abroad.
After this five-year period, the new budget will also provide 8 million CAD per year for supporting the outbound mobility and other aspects related to international education strategy.
The details of the strategies to be implemented to increase the student enrolment are not yet clear, and it is likely to be developed in some important respects. So There are basically two important themes emerging to this point.
First, Canada has already met its goal to welcome 450,000 international students to study in Canada by 2022, It will now give more importance on outbound mobility for Canadian students in their new strategy.
Second, they will focus more on diversifying Canada’s international enrolment base in terms of international student recruitment strategy. As the Globe and Mail put it in their recent report that, “Canada has seen an immense expansion of its overseas student market over the past 10 years…In recent few months, it has been a call to diversify the source countries from which Canada is welcoming international students to protect against political risk and to enhance diversity at Canadian institutions.”
Right Steps of Canadian Government:
Many well known and reputed bodies in Canada were very quick to respond to the budget. They are very pleased to see that the Canadian government identifies the importance of investment in tomorrow’s skills needs.
It was also said that the Canadian government has taken the right steps to help Canadians build the required skills and capacity they need to achieve their potential in the shifting global economy of Canada. Some said that the strategy will promote the country as a leading study abroad destination and give more opportunities to international students to study in Canada and job opportunities as well by Canadian employers.
It is one of the best ways to reinforce the values of openness by supporting international learning experiences. It can be the biggest reason for Canada’s success as a diverse society.
It is a good sign that Canadian government is making studying abroad financially feasible for students from all social and economic backgrounds. It is moving very quickly to prepare Canadian students to participate globally, working all across the globe, learn about different cultures and languages.
According to CBIE survey of 2016, it states the importance of financial support for outbound students. It was observed in the survey that less than 3% of students studying in post secondary institutions went abroad.
It was also noted that the figure further increased in 2016 to 11% in the National Survey of Student Engagement. It included all kinds of students who study in Canada with internships, exchanges, placements and other opportunities. The students who study in Canada ranged from 25k to 91k in this span of time.
Not focusing on this range for a few moments, also in CBIE survey 80% of the students said that they are interested in studying abroad. And also 7 out of 10 students said that they are not having any financial support to study abroad and it will be the biggest problem which can stop them from going abroad for their further studies and gain international experience.
Whereas another recent survey conducted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) states that most of the international students who study in Canada are very satisfied with their decision to choose to study in Canada. And they would also recommend their friends to study in Canada. In addition, 60% of the international students wanted to immigrate to Canada in the future once they complete their studies and post study work permit.
2018 CBIE International Student Survey:
The 2018 CBIE International Student Survey was conducted and almost 14k students who study in Canada responded to the survey. It was found that these students who study in Canada were enrolled at almost 46 colleges or universities in the 10 provinces of Canada. Most of them were universities only, around 12 were colleges and 3 were polytechnics where the students were studying. It was noted that there were 253% increase from 2015 to 2018 in the enrolment, and it is by far the strongest data source from the students studying at post-secondary institutions in Canada till date.
It was also found that 35% of the international students were studying in bachelors programs, while 22% were studying at master’s level, 17% were studying in doctoral programs, and 13% were having the diploma courses. And most of the students who study in Canada were from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and MENA region. There were few students from the US and Eastern Europe and Central Asia as well.
Top reasons why students want to study in Canada:
There were mainly 3 reasons why international students choose to study in Canada:
- The excellent education system of Canada (82% said this was “essential” or “very important”)
- Canada’s non-discriminatory and multicultural society (79%)
- Safe country (78%)
Highest Satisfaction Rate:
More than 90% of the international students who study in Canada were satisfied with their decision that they chose to study in Canada, and out of this 90%, almost 55% were “very satisfied.” Talking about their high levels of satisfaction, out of 96% of the international students who study in Canada, 67% of the students said that they would definitely recommend their friends and other international students to study in Canada. And 29% of them also showed the probability that they would recommend Canada as a study abroad destination.
In addition, 95% of international students who study in Canada were very happy to achieve success in meeting the demands of their academic programs, The programs in which they were studying were of their interests and right fit according to their abilities. Also few of them were feeling comfortable with the social values and aspects of studying in Canada. 73% of international students who study in Canada said that they are achieving success in getting involved in various campus activities.
An Increase in International Students Who Want to Study and Migrate to Canada:
50% of the international students who were studying in Canada wanted to gain PR in Canada just 3 years ago. That proportion has also increased since then! Now 6 international students out of 10 who study in Canada want the PR in Canada once they complete their higher studies.
The increase of interest in getting PR in Canada is happening because of welcoming policy and environment for international students in Canada. These are the main reasons why students want to immigrate to Canada. In 2016.
7 out of 10 students intend to work in Canada after their graduation:
Almost 70% of international students said that they want to work in Canada after they complete their study abroad program, 50% of them said that their goal is to work and gain PR and 20% of international students wanted to work in Canada for 3 years and then return to their home country. Most of the international students who study in Canada said that their degree and studies in Canada have been very helpful to them to prepare for employment in Canada.
Nearly 55% of the international students who study in Canada were employed like they were working during their studies in Canada and also completed the CBIE survey. Among those who were not employed during their studies in Canada, 45% of students said that they were having difficulty finding paid employment. And when they were asked about the reasons for not finding work for them, those students said that the main reason was not having enough work experience. And other reasons were like they were not able to find appropriate jobs to apply and few of them simply didn’t have the time to work during their studies.
The report also states that “Many of the international students who study in Canada showed their own perspectives about different challenges and problems which they face while working as international students during their studies in Canada. Some of these barriers they talked about included cultural differences, their eligibility to work in Canada, investing their time and energy into networking.
Affordability and Housing:
Almost all the international students who were surveyed felt safe in their housing and accommodations, Some of the students also had affordability concerns regarding accommodation. Some of them were either “somewhat” or “very much” concerned about their ability to pay for their housing or accommodation in Canada’s big cities. In addition, 50% of the international students experienced problems in securing their housing or accommodation prior to arriving in Canada.
An accommodation and housing is one of the largest and necessary costs which an international student has to incur to study in Canada. The affordability and accessibility for housing and accommodation have decreased in the past few years in Canada.
Other Foreign Countries as Competitors:
In 2017, Almost 4 lacs international students studied in Canada, and there is a 20% increase over the previous year. The CBIE report states that the main direct competitor of Canada for recruiting international students is the US. Few of the international students had applied to study in another foreign country before choosing Canada like USA, UK, Australia, France, Ireland and Germany.
International students who study in Canada and want to work in Canada once they complete their studies at a Canadian college or university will have more time for applying their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP allows international students who have completed their program or course for at least eight months’ duration to stay in Canada to work for 3 years and that can count towards a future application of international student for getting PR in the country.
Duration Extended to Apply for PGWP:
Earlier international students who study in Canada could apply for a post graduate work permit within 3 months which is 90 days. But after the changes announced by the authorised bodies, now international students who study in Canada can apply for their PGWP in six months which is 180 days after they complete their graduation program. The 3 months period begins when the international students’ final marks have been issued and when the students who study in Canada receive a formal written notification from their institution about their program completion.
In addition, the Canadian government has relaxed the application rules regarding PGWP so that:
It is fine if international students do not possess a valid study permit to apply for PGWP. The study permit only needs to be valid at some point while applying for PGWP during these 180 days. International students who study in Canada can also apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit from their home country which means that international students may return home for a maximum of six months after they finish their program. They should do this without risking their chances of getting a work permit for employment in Canada.
There were almost 6 lacs international students who were holding a student visa to study in Canada by the end of 2018. It is a golden chance for international students to apply for Canada as they are welcoming international students with open arms and proving the great career opportunities.
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