education

Canada’s Ontario asks colleges to guarantee housing to foreign students

Reuters

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Canada’s Ontario asks colleges to guarantee housing to foreign students

FILE PHOTO: A view of new homes under construction in Brampton, Ontario, Canada July 13, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

Carlos Osorio/REUTERS

Canada issued nearly 1 million study permits in 2023, about three times that of a decade ago, according to government data

Canada’s Ontario government on Friday, January 26, asked all colleges and universities to guarantee housing for all foreign students, after a record inflow of international students aggravated Canada’s housing shortage.

This week, the federal government announced an immediate, two-year cap on new international student permits, which will cut their intake by 35% this year to about 360,000. It would also stop giving work permits to some students after graduation.

Canada issued nearly 1 million study permits last year, about three times that of a decade ago, according to government data. That surge has been partly blamed for a shortage of rental units, and rents nationwide rising 7.7% in December from a year earlier.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told the Canadian Press that the move to cap the intake of new international students should help address the challenge of rising rents.

Post-secondary institutions in Ontario with a sizeable amount of international students will also be required to submit their programs for review, Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities said in a statement.

International students contribute about C$22 billion ($16.4 billion) annually to the Canadian economy and they are seen as a cash cow for the educational institutions. But the federal government has been concerned about the quality of education and lack of facilities provided.

Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop said in a statement that the challenges stemming from the recent spike in international students, including “predatory practices by bad-actor recruiters, misinformation regarding citizenship and permanent residency, false promises of guaranteed employment, and inadequate housing” require immediate attention.

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Canada has emerged as a popular destination for international students since it is relatively easy to obtain work permits after finishing courses. – Rappler.com

$1 = 1.3450 Canadian dollars

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