The Canadian government has announced a CAN$20 million International Education Strategy (IES) that will focus on key markets in order to double foreign student numbers, boost job growth and inject billions of dollars into the economy by 2022.
Peer consultation is central to a new website for students looking to study in Canada and Canadians going abroad. In addition to providing information on the application process, funding options and study programmes, iStudent Canada aims to share first-hand experience through blogs, forums and online events.
The Canadian government has unveiled "key elements" of its long awaited international education strategy, allocating CAN$23 million to supporting the plan in the latest federal budget, despite the country’s fiscal struggles. It has also promised $42 million to speed up visa processing.
Continuing to expand its educational reach, the Canadian government collaborated with the Canadian Bureau for International Education for the country's first education mission to Ukraine where an overarching MoU was signed between CBIE and The Union of Rectors of Higher Educational Institutions of Ukraine.
A new immigration "matchmaking service" in Canada will connect foreign job seekers and employers in a bid to boost skilled migration – a move that could benefit international graduates of Canadian universities. CIC believes the system will eliminate application backlogs. It is one of a raft of new measures designed to attract more foreign students to the country.
Canada could soon pave the way for easy access for Mexican students after Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, affirmed recently that his government would "ultimately like to see visa-free travel with Mexico". There are clear signs that a relaxing of visa rules that were imposed suddenly in 2009 because of a hike in refugees is likely.
Canada has a golden opportunity to boost its profile as a study destination, said industry figures last week at the CBIE conference. One commentator said, “People have been keeping an eye for years on what Australia is doing, but now it's Canada." Efforts to act cohesively and use visa policy as an incentive are planned to capitalise on international student growth.