Note From the Editor
Amid the country’s housing crisis and with the goal of targeting “bad actors,” the federal government of Canada is rolling out a temporary cap on the number of international students provided with study visas over the next two years, as well as big changes to the popular post-graduation work permit program (PGWP).
Data shows one-third of UK universities have experienced a decline in overseas non-EU applicants in 2023, raising concerns on the sector’s financial standing and resilience. In the US, antisemitism probes are underway across schools and universities.
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Amid the country’s housing crisis and with the goal of targeting “bad actors,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that it is imposing a temporary cap on the number of international students provided with study visas over the next two years. According to IRCC, the cap this year is anticipated to result in about 360,000 approved study permits, a reduction of 35% from 2023. The government also announced changes to the post-graduation work permit program (PGWP), including requiring international students applying for a study permit to furnish them an attestation letter from a province or territory. Beginning September 2024, too, international students starting a study program considered part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for the PGWP.
One-third of United Kingdom universities have experienced a decline in overseas non-European Union applicants in 2023, nearly double the previous year, according to a Financial Times analysis of data from the university admissions service. Overall non-EU applications increased by 3.6%, the slowest rate in six years, raising concerns about the financial health of the sector heavily dependent on international income. University leaders called for government support as they anticipated a drop in overseas income, impacting the financial resilience of the sector.
The US Department of Education has initiated new investigations into allegations of antisemitism at universities and schools. Complaints include anti-Israel protests at Temple University and Brown University filed by a Jewish right-wing activist, faculty statements condemning Israel at the University of Minnesota, and concerns of antisemitism at the two largest Bay Area public school districts. This marks over 50 Title VI investigations since the October 7 Hamas attacks triggered increased campus anti-Israel activism.
Australia is set to introduce the Pacific Engagement visa (PEV) in 2024, offering up to 3,000 permanent places annually for citizens of participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, along with their immediate family members. The PEV, part of Australia’s permanent migration program, aims to enhance engagement with the Pacific region and contribute to the growth of Australia’s Pacific diaspora. Meanwhile, the government has halted applications for the Significant Investor or “Golden Visa” program, part of a broader immigration policy overhaul aiming to attract more skilled migrants. The move is in line with the government’s strategy to revamp the migration system and address concerns that such investor visas have been abused.
Delays in job checks by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) for work visa applications are causing stress and challenges for businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, according to Hospitality NZ. The delays, some lasting up to four months, have led to job losses for applicants as employers struggle to hold positions. INZ has acknowledged the delays and said that adjustments have been made to the assessment approach, resulting in longer processing times for employer accreditation and job checks.
Argentina’s President Javier Milei has proposed a bill allowing universities to charge tuition fees for international students, potentially ending the country’s tradition of free education at public universities. The bill is not yet passed, but it raises concerns about limiting access to free education. Experts suggested tensions may arise between institutions and the government, citing the need for a strategic plan before implementing tuition fees. Argentina is considered one of the most popular countries in Latin America for international students, with the capital Buenos Aires welcoming 52,707 international students in 2022.
The Canadian government’s recent announcement of a two-year cap on international student permits has raised concerns among students. Some are worried about the potential impact on their plans to work and live in Canada. While some students in Toronto welcome the cap, citing challenges in finding employment and housing, others criticize it as a response to the housing crisis and inadequate funding for post-secondary education. Jaspreet Singh, president of the International Sikh Student Association, says although the federal government is not explicitly blaming international students for the current housing crisis in Canada, it feels like they are being “thrown under the bus” with the new measures.
An analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of 84 UK universities has highlighted financial challenges in the higher education sector, fueled by a stagnant tuition fee cap, reduced grant funding, and rising costs. Despite growing reliance on international student income, potential risks like declining enrollment and increased expenditures emphasize the need for both government action and internal adjustments by universities. Current trends also show only a marginal increase in international student recruitment, contrary to expectations. Late decisions by prospective students not to enroll are already prompting universities to revise growth projections.
Finnish universities, especially in social and healthcare, business, and engineering, are attracting significant interest in their English-language programs. Recent application rounds showed high demand, with Diaconia University of Applied Sciences receiving almost 2,000 applicants for its social and healthcare programs. Similarly, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences reported increased interest and improved applicant quality for its international degree programs, highlighting the growing global appeal of Finnish higher education.
The number of Indian students choosing Germany for education has surged by 214% since 2016, surpassing Chinese students, with 42,000 Indian students in 2023. Factors like quality education, a strong economy, and post-graduate work opportunities contributed to Germany’s popularity among Indian students. Affordable tuition fees, quality of education, and the prospect of staying for up to 18 months after studies are also perceived to make Germany an attractive destination. After their studies, Indian students can stay in Germany for up to 18 months to look for work; those with a job offer can apply for permanent residency after five years.
Around 78% of Indian students aspiring to study abroad consider university rankings a crucial factor in their decision-making process, according to a poll from educational consultancy firm Fateh Education. This strong reliance on rankings suggests that students use them as indicators of the quality and reputation of international colleges. The poll also highlighted the significance of tuition costs (71%) and job opportunities (65%) in the decision-making process, reflecting the Indian market’s emphasis on affordability and career prospects.
At least 100 Palestinian students from Gaza will pursue higher education in Qatar within six months, supported by the Education Above All Foundation’s “Rebuilding Hope for Gaza” project. The initiative, focusing on education and resilience, covers disciplines like medicine and engineering. The scholarship, providing fees and support, aims to assist in Gaza’s reconstruction, with over 200 applications received in the first 10 days and plans to accommodate 100 students in the next six months. Plans with various international universities in Qatar are also underway to expand scholarship opportunities.
Monroe College, situated in New York with campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and St. Lucia, prides itself on being an accessible and affordable institution. With over 8,000 students in its diverse student body representing 93 countries, Monroe College emphasizes personalized learning with a 18-to-1 student/faculty ratio across 38 areas of study. Students gain hands-on experience through a network of 2,000 corporate partners and can choose from 42 degrees, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs.
Founded in 1933, Monroe College is a national leader in higher education access, affordability, and attainment. The institution is committed to the transformative power of education for social mobility and community change. With a focus on outcomes, the college provides a caring environment for a diverse student body, including first-generation college students, immigrants, and international students. The curriculum, taught by industry professionals, integrates local, national, and global perspectives, aligning with industries driving the New York and international economies.
The Health Care Assistant Program at Selkirk College equips individuals with the necessary confidence, knowledge, and skills to provide safe care in diverse health care settings, contributing to the well-being of clients. The program spans 26 weeks, featuring blended online and in-person training. The initial 16 weeks cover theory classes online or in person, followed by in-person lab courses at the Trail Campus. The final 10 weeks include 270 hours of practice in residential and community care settings. Graduates receive recognition from the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry and can pursue careers such as adult day care, assisted living, and community health work.
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