New French proficiency reqs in Canada, UK’s deregistration of foreign students, and more in this week’s MSM Reporter

New French proficiency reqs in Canada, UK’s deregistration of foreign students, and more in this week’s MSM Reporter

Note From the Editor


In Canada, the Montreal government is reportedly gearing up to introduce a new measure requiring 80% of international students to reach intermediate French proficiency by graduation, feared to drive many international students away and result in a catastrophic drop in revenues. 


In the UK, social media platforms like X/Twitter are abuzz with news of universities reportedly deregistering foreign students, including Nigerians, from their academic programs, leading to the advice for these students to leave the UK. Meanwhile, in the US, international students at Princeton hinge their holiday plans on the final exam schedule, which they believe is released too late and extends too close to the holiday season. 


Read intl ed news from Australia, New Zealand, India, Czech Republic, and Malaysia in this week’s edition, or head over to for more international education news, insights, and thought leadership this week. 


The MSM Reporter team wishes you a wonderful holiday season! 



English universities blast report that 80% of foreign students will need intermediate French by graduation

The Montreal government is reportedly gearing up to significantly increase university tuition for domestic students from other provinces, lower rates for francophone students from France and Belgium (and maybe Switzerland), and potentially introduce a new measure requiring 80% of international students to reach intermediate French proficiency by graduation. McGill and Concordia universities sounded the alarm on the tuition hike and French proficiency rules, warning they may scare off many students and lead to a catastrophic revenue drop. Back in October, the government announced an almost double the out-of-province rate at CA$17,000 (US$12,736), which is now reportedly ready to be set by Quebec at CA$12,000 (US$8,992) or a 33% increase versus current rates. 

Montreal Gazette

International students highlight challenges with flying home after finals period

International students at Princeton University face challenges in planning their travel home after finals, as the final exam schedule often clashes with their holiday plans. With winter break approaching, students are making various plans, such as returning home, staying on campus, or visiting friends globally. For many of them, these plans hinge on the final exam schedule, which they believe is released too late and extends too close to the holiday season. Changing the academic calendar has been a topic of conversation during this year’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) vice-presidential debate, with proposals to move the academic calendar one week earlier to highlight how students may be caught in transit near Christmas due to a snow storm or in airport rush.

The Daily Princetonian

UK universities deregister foreign students sparking concerns, social media discussion

Universities in the United Kingdom have reportedly deregistered foreign students, including Nigerians, from their academic programs. This development has led to the advice for these students to leave the UK, as well as sparked a wave of concern and discussion on social media platforms such as X/Twitter. Social media users have emphasized the complexities arising from new policies, which stipulate that students must complete their studies before being allowed to change their status. Inquiries about the eligibility of these deregistered students to work part-time were also raised, with unofficial clarifications that part-time work eligibility depends on enrollment status. Besides disrupting academic plans and life trajectories, the decision is feared to leave many international students in a state of uncertainty and distress.

MSM Reporter

International students left in limbo as new migration strategy reduces eligible age for graduate visa

In the wake of Australia’s tightening of the eligibility of temporary work visas, some international students have been left with confusion and anger. The new policy, announced by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil as a “migration strategy” in a bid to overhaul the “broken” migration system, dictates that the maximum eligible age for international students to get a temporary graduate work visa will reduced from 50 to 35 years old. Some foreign students currently studying the skills in demand fear the updated policy will mean they will be unable to work in Australia if they graduate after turning 36. Aside from the age limit, students applying for a graduate visa from early 2024 will require a score under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 6.5 (up from 6.0), while student visa applicants will need a 6.0 (up from 5.5).

ABC News

IELTS One Skill Retake now accepted by Immigration New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand has announced the acceptance of the IELTS One Skill Retake option to create “a more personalized and accommodating environment for aspiring students.” If a test taker falls short of the desired score in any of the four skills – namely Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking – they may retake the test with the retake option. When a test taker opts for an IELTS One Skill Retake, they will receive a second Test Report Form (TRF) with their updated score. Immigration New Zealand considers this a legitimate method of evaluating English language competency, satisfying the rigorous standards for foreign immigration to the country. 

Financial Express

Canadian Association of University Teachers urges government action to safeguard international students

Safeguard international students from fraud and abuse, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has urged the federal government following the latter’s announcement of increased cost-of-living financial requirements for international students effective Jan. 1, 2024. While CAUT acknowledges the minister’s acknowledgment of the vulnerability of international students to abuse, Executive Director David Robinson said that simply elevating the financial threshold is insufficient and “isn’t going to solve the problem.” Instead the group calls for more concrete measures cracking down on “misleading and unethical international student recruitment agents and low-quality private educational institutions,” which they say are “selling false promises of pathways to permanent residency.”

MSM Reporter

28 Indian students deported from US in past year: Govt

Government data has revealed that 28 Indian students have been deported from the US to India in 2023, as disclosed by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan last Friday. The official adds that the Indian government has expressed concerns to US authorities regarding such instances and requested fairness when it comes to the entry of Indian students who hold valid student visas. According to the ministry, they are hosting outreach programs and issuing advisories to Indian nationals including students about safe and legal migration as well as being aware of fraudulent agents and fake job offers. The number of Indians pursuing postgraduate studies in the US has increased 63% in academic year 2022-23, surpassing China for the first time in 15 years.

Indian Express

Czech universities resist stricter changes to international students’ visa scheme

The Czech Council of Higher Education Institutions has sharply objected to strict new penalties within the Czech Republic’s specialized student visa regime, which streamlines visa procedures for selected students from third countries. Pertaining to a resolution adopted in early December, the board argues blanket bans on universities’ access to the program unfairly hinder their internationalization efforts. The rules tighten the regulation of international students’ progress, penalizing both students and universities if certain criteria are not met. Universities, for instance, risk a one-year suspension from the student visa program if over 10% of students selected for the scheme fail to enroll, or if over 20% leave their programs within the first year of study.

UGC warns edtech companies offering degree courses online in association with foreign universities

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has warned edtech companies and colleges offering degrees in collaborative arrangements with foreign universities not recognized by the agency. None of the degrees will be valid in such cases, according to the UGC, warning students against taking admission in such courses. UGC says it is aware that some edtech firms are advertising in newspapers, social media, and television, offering degree and diploma programs in online mode in association with some foreign universities and institutions. Those arrangements are not permissible and won’t get recognition from UGC, it adds, calling for students and the public to exercise due caution and enroll in those courses “at their own risk.”

The Hindu

Canada’s international students relieved after federal government allows longer work hours

International students have expressed relief over the federal government’s decision to uphold a temporary policy lifting a 20-hour-per-week work cap until the school year ends. The work cap policy was set to expire on December 31, with the work limit initially lifted to tackle shortages in the country’s labor force. Some international students touted the policy extension as a huge relief, saying people are “ecstatic and hopeful for their future.” At the press conference announcing the extension, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC) Minister Marc Miller said the temporary policy would be in effect until April 30, 2024, with the government looking at other policy options for international students. Based on federal data, over 80% of international students are currently working more than 20 hours a week.

New Canadian Media

Malaysia implements visa liberalization plan to attract talent and tourists

The Malaysian Immigration Department has unveiled a visa liberalization plan seeking to attract foreign tourists and boost national income, positioning Malaysia as a key player in the investment and tourism sectors in the Asian region. The visa liberalization plan comprises several measures that will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2026, unless otherwise stated. A new Graduate Social Visit Pass (GSVP) is now available for international students from 23 countries who have completed or are about to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher in any Malaysian higher education institute. Accessible for a year and accompanied by a multiple entry visa, the GSVP grants access to tourism, study, and work in specific sectors, streamlining the process for those seeking extended stays.

MSM Reporter

International students app Mist pockets $1.6 million pre-seed round

Mist, promoted as an all-in-one finance and lifestyle app for international students, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding, as backed by Investible, Allectus Capital, Archangel Ventures, Seedspace, and The Hunter Angels. Mist intends to be the go-to app for international students as they relocate to another country to study and deal with their banking and telecommunications needs. As part of its initial in-app offerings, Mist will provide payments solutions, local accounts, a phone SIM, overseas health cover, and international student ID cards. Mist intends to tap into the sector that sees around 5 million people move overseas to study every year, with that number predicted to double to 10 million by 2030.

Startup Daily

Featured Institution - Hawai’i Pacific University

Hawai’i Pacific University is packed with a rich, 50-year-old history. With the excitement of an urban downtown campus, the serenity of the Ko’olau mountains, and an Oceanic Institute bordering the ocean, HPU’s campuses are as diverse as its students. With students from all 50 states and 65 countries, HPU is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the world, priding itself on its transparency and premium on student wellbeing, accolades for academic excellence, international diversity, and the affordability of the private education it offers. HPU is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and has a number of additional accreditations and memberships from nationally recognized groups.

Hawai’i Pacific University

Featured Program - Bachelor of Engineering Technology

The Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BET) degree, which comes as a diploma or undergraduate program (2 or 3 year duration), demonstrates the innovative development and delivery of tech education at Cape Breton University in Canada. Dedicated to providing a one-of-a-kind education to fill a demand for one of today’s most lucrative careers, the BET degree program prepares students to meet the challenges and opportunities facing today’s technical graduates. Flexible and timely, it prepares learners for the working world with options for structuring their degree based on their personal career goals. The degree does not lead directly to a Professional Engineering designation, but provides a strong foundation to pursue a career in the engineering field.

Bachelor of Engineering Technology

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