The program will offer agents training on Canadian laws and immigration, as well as detailed knowledge of the benefits of studying, living, and working in Saskatchewan.
“The Saskatchewan Agent Training Program supports the economic recovery and population growth goals of Saskatchewan’s Growth plan by increasing the number of international students studying in our province,” advanced education minister Gene Makowsky said.
“This program is a key component of the new International Education Strategy which supports the post-secondary education sector in achieving their student recruitment goals.”
The strategy was announced in November 2021.
The aim of the program is to have well-trained recruitment agents offer consistent and high-quality service so that prospective will be further supported and informed when choosing the province as a study destination, the government added.
Other features of the international strategy included a Saskatchewan Student Ambassador Program as well as a ‘Discover Saskatchewan’ learning opportunity in summer 2022.
The Canadian Bureau for International Education has come onboard to deliver the training, which is expected to reach up to 270 recruitment agents by March 2024.
Institutions in the province hope that the program will help to attract high quality students to schools and diversify campuses.
“Government support through this new program will strengthen the University of Saskatchewan’s presence and reputation internationally,” University of Saskatchewan president and vice-chancellor Peter Stoicheff said.
The program will “help attract high quality students to our campus, diversify perspectives in our classrooms and enhance the education experience for everyone – all of this contributes to the growth of our province’s workforce”, he detailed.
The University of Regina is excited to be working with the province on an initiative that “will enhance recruitment agents’ ability to support international students wanting to study here”, its president and vice chancellor Jeff Keshen added.
“Students will be well served from the first point of contact with that agent right through to their graduation”
“Ensuring that agents are well prepared to accurately represent what this province has to offer creates an extension of the high-quality service that Saskatchewan institutions pride themselves on,” president and CEO of Cumberland and Parkland College Mark Hoddenbagh said. “By providing agents with this training, students will be well served from the first point of contact with that agent right through to their graduation.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic has worked to increase its international student enrolment, to foster study abroad opportunities, and to participate in international project work, president and CEO Larry Rosia noted.
“Ensuring that today’s students have the cultural competencies to understand and interact with other cultures is critical.”