Canada Still ‘Premier Destination’ for Students Amid Pandemic

The future of international education enrollment in Canada remains hopeful following the number of temporary policy changes the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the High Commission of Canada (HCC) in India.

Speaking exclusively during the MSM Live! session on July 30, Anindita Buragohain, outreach officer for mitigation of HCC in India said that the policies will “continue Canada’s reputation as a premier destination for international students.”

She added that the changes “demonstrate the importance of the international program and the contribution international students give to Canada” both socially and culturally, given that they generate over CAD21bn in economic activity.

IRCC’s most recent measures were introduced on July 14 and were aimed at the batch of students whose classes will start this fall. Among them is a directive that only international students who can prove that they need to be on campus and attend in-person classes for the fall semester will be allowed to enter Canada. This is important because many institutions have already announced that they will be having online classes until December 2020.

“We encourage students to still consider Canada even though classes for the first three months of the semester will be online,” said Buragohain during the webinar entitled “Updates on Study Permit Processing for Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic”.  She also urged the webinar’s participants to communicate the matter to their prospective students.

Facilitated by MSM General Manager Chirag Mehta and MSM Global Vice President Suneetha Qureshi, the MSM Live! webinar, which attracted over 500 agents in India, also had Elena Balboa, first secretary of Migration at the High Commission of Canada in India, to field questions coming from participants. She and Buragohain touched on several timely issues, which included travel restrictions to Canada, processing changes in student visa, and mandatory quarantine upon reaching Canada.

MSM Live!, a series of webinars or e-summits, connects MSM’s global community to higher education experts to remain updated with what’s happening to the higher education sector during the COVID-19 crisis. To date, the online series has been attended by over 15,000 participants from 60 countries.

“At MSM, we recognize that the situation can take its toll on education agents who work so hard to support students’ study-abroad plans. This is why we’ve never stopped working since day one of the pandemic,” Mehta said.

“We are with them every step of the way.”

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