Canada’s New International Education Strategy

Canada’s New International Education Strategy

Canadian government has unveiled its new international education strategy and it’s ambitious. It majorly aims to double the number of international students with the goal of 450,000 students by 2022. Some of the key markets to the new Canadian international education strategy are emerging powers:

• Brazil
• China
• India
• Mexico
• North Africa and the Middle East
• Vietnam

Government also stress that Canada will endeavor to maintain its position in the mature markets in which Canada has already established itself such as France, the UK, Germany, Japan, Korea and the US.

The new international education strategy doesn’t mark a departure for Canada in terms of ambition. But the strategy does represent an intensification of Canada’s drive to be a world leading study destination. A study conducted in 2013 estimates that Canada holds a 5% share of the global market internationally mobile students, making the country the 7th most popular study destination worldwide after other leading hosts such as the US, UK, China, France, Germany and Australia.

While government predicts that the new international education strategy will:

1. Create at least 86,500 net new jobs for Canadians, bringing the total number of jobs sustained by international    education in Canada to 173,100 new jobs

2. See international student expenditures in Canada rise to over CDN$16.1 billion, generating economic growth and prosperity in every region of Canada

3. Provide an approximate CDN$10 billion annual boost to the Canadian economy

International students are valued by universities and colleges in part because they pay so much more in tuition than Canadians do nearly three times as much CDN$19,500 a year to Canadian’s average of CDN$5,700. Canada isn’t just need more international students but wants talented students and its research collaborations with universities and research institutes around the world. The government announced these areas of focus in this regard:

• Student and faculty exchanges
• Student and faculty mobility
• Joint research
• Joint curriculum development
• Joint course delivery
• Joint academic and skills development Programmes

Inorder to attain the goal, government will rely heavily on two funding:

• Already established funding of CDN$5 million per year, devoted mostly to branding and marketing in the key priority markets

• A commitment of CDN$13 million to be distributed over two years to Globalink’s Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that encourages innovation through research and training programs and student mobility between Canada and Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam.

Some education leaders see the funding as too meagre to boost Canada’s global profile. But Minister Fast responded by saying that the funding is ‘sufficient’ and that, over time, the government is ‘committed to bringing the resources to bear to achieve the objectives that we’ve set out.

Despite a damaging strike by Foreign Service officers that delayed international students’ visa application last summer, Canada has been steadily working on streamlining its visa procedures and processing times.

So far, reactions to the International Education Strategy have been positive