Canada is stepping up its efforts to recruit qualified Chinese students to Canada, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and James Knight, President of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), announced recently.
International students in Canada, at nearly 200,000 strong in 2009, are estimated to contribute more than $6.5 billion to the Canadian economy every year. China is the top source country for students studying in Canada with almost 50,000 Chinese students residing in Canada in 2009. That number is expected to grow thanks to the expansion of the Student Partners Program (SPP).
“International students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study,” said Minister Kenney. “We look forward to welcoming more Chinese students to Canadian colleges in the years to come.”
The SPP was developed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in cooperation with the ACCC. “Thanks to the excellent collaboration of Minister Kenney and CIC, Canadian colleges and institutes will not only be able to attract more Chinese students to our English-as-a-second-language, French language and university transfer programs, but also expand the number of students who are taking our advanced diploma, applied degree and internship programs,” commented Mr. Knight.
The program is based on the highly successful SPP implemented in India last year. In the first year of its implementation, the number of Indian students studying in Canada jumped from just over 11,000 in 2008 to nearly 19,000 in 2009. The program has several checks and balances, from requiring applicants to provide verifiable documentation, to a feedback mechanism where colleges report on whether students attend.
All students who come to Canada through the SPP must adhere to the same screening requirements as any visitor or student. “The Student Partners Program has already helped to welcome thousands of students from India,” said Minister Kenney. “Thousands from China will also benefit from the program. And when they’ve finished their studies, these graduates may decide to remain in Canada and may apply to immigrate under the Canadian Experience Class.
They would make Canada their home and continue to contribute to our country’s social and economic fabric.” Canada’s network of community colleges, institutes of technology and polytechnics offers many outstanding programs to educate young Canadians and their counterparts from around the world for the opportunities of today’s economy. The number of international students in Canada has more than doubled since 1998.