Canada’s new five-year international education strategy is unveiled by the federal government this week. According to the new strategy, Canada is willing to diversify international student intake, calling for greater diversity, innovation, and global ties.
The new education strategy for Canada recognizes the strong presence of international students in Canada, marking that over 570,000 foreign study permit holders contributed over $21 billion in the Canadian economy since the start of the current year.
The key aim of Canada’s new $148 million strategy is to increase the variety of countries from which international students immigrate to Canada. Canada has pledged to spend almost $30 million to diversify the country’s recruitment efforts in this domain.
Currently, more than 50 percent of Canada’s international students migrate from China and India and they are mainly focused in large cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. The expanded recruitment efforts as planned in the new strategy will target Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, France, and Ukraine.
Moreover, the strategy also aims to diversify the locations in Canada where international students study and thereby intend to foreign talent to locations that receive very few immigrants as compared to urban areas.
James Carr, the Minister of International Trade Diversification said that international students stimulate innovation and develop cross-cultural competencies. He said if students from foreign countries choose to immigrate to Canada, they contribute to the country’s economic success. “Those who choose to return to their countries become life-long ambassadors for Canada and for Canadian values,” Carr added in a statement.
Another significant element of Canada’s new international education strategy is their plan for an investment of nearly $100 million in Canadians studying overseas, focusing on the groups that have been denied opportunities historically such as low-income people, indigenous people, and people with disabilities.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship said that international students are often ideal candidates for permanent residency. “The strategy builds on the attributes that have made Canada a destination of choice for international students: strong schools and programs of study in both English and French; welcoming and diverse communities with an enviable quality of life, and opportunities to start careers and pursue permanent residency,” said Hussen about the international education strategy.
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