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Canada: CBU limits int’ls on post-bac streams

Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia is putting a limit on the amount of international students it takes into its post-baccalaureate programs as recruitment drives proved “too successful”.

CBU students are also experiencing issues with housing as prices are being driven up. Photo: iStock

85% of the international students enrolled in the program are from India

The Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Business Management in particular, starting in May 2023, is proving extremely popular with the international cohort, with only two of the students currently enrolled domestic students.

In addition, 85% of the international students enrolled are from India.

“Essentially the strategy for many, many years has been to try to replace the expected and known decline in the local domestic market with international students,” said Gordon MacInnis, vice president of finance and operations at CBU.

“The admissions are [now] being limited as part of the deliberate strategy to manage the enrolment in that program downward,” he continued.

It was also confirmed by the dean of CBU’s business school that a proportion of classes were even held in downtown Sydney – where the university is situated – at the local cineplex, due to the fact there were so many students on the program in question.

Specifically, 90 of the 146 in-person sections of the post-baccalaureate business program were being held at the cinema.

In an open letter, university president David Dingwall acknowledged that bringing in 1,146 international students in September created a shortage of classroom space and housing.

“With growth comes many positives, but it also has its challenges,” Dingwall said. “These challenges include affordable housing, which is a national issue, as well as unemployment, which has always challenged this region.”

According to CBU’s student union president Damanpreet Singh, students are beginning to get frustrated with the lack of space, especially considering they are paying almost $30,000 – twice what domestic students pay.

“There needs to be attention given to this situation, otherwise nobody will stay here”

Despite the growing number of international students on campus – over 4,000 of almost 6,000 students at the university in Sydney are internationals – a housing crisis threatens to drive away enrolment without CBU’s attempts to limit it.

“There needs to be attention given to this situation, otherwise nobody will stay here,” said CBU’s student union president, Damanpreet Singh.

He told Global News that the current situation has seen his own rent go up from $350 to $500 a month, and that some are even being asked for $700 or $800 a month.

Sydney has also seen tragedy in recent days after a southern Indian CBU international student was killed in a house fire on December 20 that displaced seven other students and a family of five.

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