young woman enjoying music using smartphone in garden

Manitoba to Attract International Students to Fill Skills Gap

Source: The PIE News

In a bid to prepare for future changes in the labour market, the Canadian province of Manitoba recently published their Skills, Talent and Knowledge strategy for post-secondary institutions. The government hopes to make sure that education and training programs suit the needs of industry while students in the province are able to work there after graduation.

The provincial government hopes to improve the reputation of Manitoba as a top-tier study abroad destination in Canada as well as among the prairie provinces. It is currently the fifth most popular Canadian province for overseas education. While more than 21,000 international students were at Manitoba institutions as of 2017, both Saskatchewan and Alberta recently put forth plans to increase their own numbers.

The federal government hopes that foreign learners discover these provinces so different Canadian communities can develop and benefit from all the things that students traveling from abroad have to offer. Current statistics show that students from other countries are most attracted to major Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. A rise in numbers in other parts of the country would offer more balanced population growth and a solution to potential talent shortages in the years to come.

Canada Requires Negative COVID Tests From Incoming Travellers

Source: Transport Canada

The Canadian government has stated that as of January 7, 2021, all travellers entering Canada over the age of five must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. This rule applies to anyone planning on entering the country, from international students to Canadian citizens.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. We need to continue to be vigilant, and we need to continue to take action to reduce the risks of spreading the virus by air travel. This new interim order will help protect Canadians and air travellers.”

Results have to be from either a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test. The test also has to have been conducted no more than 72 hours before the flight. Upon entering Canada all entrants will still have to enter the required two-week quarantine, as outlined in the Canadian Quarantine Act.

According to Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, “These new measures do not replace any of the previous measures we have put in place to protect Canadians. All travellers must still quarantine for 14 days after they arrive unless explicitly exempt… If anyone doesn’t follow the quarantine requirements, they could face severe penalties.”

With international travel to Canada contributing to the rise of coronavirus cases and new, more contagious strains of the virus being discovered, it is hoped that these measures can help plank the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

Post-Secondary Students in Canada Facing Financial Pressure

Source: Global News

As college and university students in Canada prepare for the end of the Fall semester, the financial impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more apparent. A recent Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) study found that 70% of students had either lost their jobs or were working reduced hours.

“Students are really feeling the pressure especially now and are worried about what’s to come next year, as well as what’s already built up and accumulated this year,” CFS Deputy Chairperson Nicole Brayiannis said.

The University of Saskatchewan has provided students with some of the financial assistance they need in this time of uncertainty. According to Patti McDougall, Vice-Provost of Teaching, Learning and Student Experience, the university has shared in excess of $1.3 million in funding to students in the middle of March 2020. This aid aims to help students afford expenses such as groceries and rent. McDougall stated that much of this funding went to international students who were unable to apply for government aid programs like the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).

While the federal government continues to promote programs like the CESB, the CFS claims that by not investing in students through more direct means, they may be financially harming the country in the years to come. Brayiannis said, “If we don’t start to act now on issues that we’re already seeing building and exasperating at this moment, we’re not going to be able to fix ourselves long term.”

COVID-19 Guide for International Students Arriving in Canada

The federal government has released a guide for international students who are coming to Canada, and navigating travel restrictions. It’s called “COVID-19: Guide for International Students in Canada Arriving from Abroad.” The government outlines the roles and responsibilities of designated learning institutions (DLIs), provinces and territories and the government of Canada in supporting international students. The guide is aligned with health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Any international student or their accompanying family members with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board their flight. If symptoms show up upon arrival in Canada, a health Canada officer will perform a screening and the person may not be allowed to enter, or transported to a hospital for a medical examination. International students are allowed to come to Canada to go to school at an institution that has a coronavirus readiness plan. The list of approved institutions are kept up-to-date on the Government of Canada website.

International students need a study permit or study permit approval, but this is not a travel authorization in and of itself. IRCC will communicate with students once the travel authorization has been granted. This authorization may be cancelled if there are any changes in circumstances at their school, or the province or territory.

In order to be given access to come to Canada, international students need to show border services officer that they are entering Canada for non-discretionary purposes, and that they are studying at one of the approved DLIs, among other requirements. International students may be refused entry if they do not meet these requirements.

Immediate family members may be allowed to accompany international students. This would include students’ spouses, dependent children, or their legal parent or guardian if they are a minor. Family members must also show border officers that they are travelling for a non-optional, non-discretionary reason, such as helping the student get established in Canada.

International students and their accompanying family members must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They need to wear a mask or face covering during travel, including to their place of quarantine. Before coming to Canada students need to make a quarantine plan. Border officers will also consider this plan, when determining if the student can enter the country. While in quarantine, students should ensure that they have individual accommodations, and that they monitor themselves for symptoms. They should avoid public and shared spaces. They also need to arrange to have access to basic necessities like food and medicine. In addition to physical distancing, they need to avoid contact with people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults, and people with underlying medical conditions, or who are immunocompromised.

Places with shared living accommodations, such as hostels, are not acceptable for quarantine or isolation. International students living with other people, such as with a host family or homestay provider, will need to self-isolate from other members in the accommodation or home. This means having a separate bedroom and washroom if possible. It also means physical distancing from other household members and frequently disinfecting surfaces.

Minors must also undergo mandatory quarantine. Parents or guardians must ensure that appropriate arrangements have been made for their child before they leave for their home country. Also, international students are asked to confirm their eligibility for heath-care coverage and Canada. If they are not covered, they can get private insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage before departure.

Canada Leads in Recruiting Foreign Students

“A degree from a Canadian university has worldwide recognition and opens many doors for international students after graduation, whether they choose to stay and work in Canada or pursue opportunities elsewhere in the world”

An expert on international graduate’s career outcomes in Asia believes Canada will stay a top destination for foreign students should it focus on employability.

Louise Nicol, director of the Asia Careers Group also suggested “With robust data on international graduate outcomes, Canada would be the first nation to put employability at the heart of their National Inbound International Student Recruitment campaign and lead the pack in terms of evidencing the return on investment of a Canadian degree.”

Nicol further adds, this will differentiate and maintain Canada’s growth in the international higher education sector during and following the global pandemic. She also referred to a recent article she authored on the shifting dynamics of foreign students in University World News.

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada estimates that in recent years, international education has been Canada’s fourth-largest export sector, with international students contributing between $15 billion and $26 billion to the Canadian economy from tuition fees (which are considerably higher than domestic student fees), accommodation, and other local expenses.

In 2018, India surpassed China as the single largest source of international students in Canada. Over a 10-year period, the number of Indian students skyrocketed from roughly 5,000 in 2008-09 to 172,00 in 2018. In addition to India, several Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – have been identified by Canada as very promising new markets for international students.

Overall, Canada’s international student population has grown six-fold over the past 20 years. In the last decade alone, it has tripled.

International employability is already a key part of Canada’s foreign student recruitment strategy said Cindy McIntyre, Assistant Director of International Relations at Universities Canada.

“A degree from a Canadian university has world-wide recognition and opens many doors for international students after graduation, whether they choose to stay and work in Canada or pursue opportunities elsewhere in the world,” said McIntyre.

“International students make excellent candidates for permanent residency, as they are usually proficient in at least one official language, have Canadian educational qualifications, and possess in-demand skills that can help address Canada’s labour market needs.

“Given these advantages, it is not surprising that 53,700 international students became permanent residents of Canada in 2018,” she said.

Source: Asian Pacific Post

International Education Week – Saskatchewan Plans to Attract More International Students

Saskatchewan to strengthen the province as a destination for international students and researchers post pandemic

In an initiative to attract more international students, the province of Saskatchewan is pleased to observe International Education Week from November 16-20, 2020.

“International education is an important driver for Saskatchewan’s economic and cultural growth,” Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky said. “By connecting Saskatchewan and Canada to other parts of the world, students have the unique opportunity to develop new skills and learn to think globally to position the province for the future.”

Like almost all other provinces in Canada this year has been challenging for universities and in general the education sector. Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, international students contributed more than $222 million each year to Saskatchewan’s economy. While constrained in these unprecedented times, the province is taking steps to be a market of choice post-pandemic.

Saskatchewan recognises that strengthening the province as a destination for international students and researchers through a strategy is going to be a key component of the province’s growth plan. The province will be focusing on three goals:

  • Increasing the number of international students in Saskatchewan
  • Increasing the number of Saskatchewan students studying abroad
  • Increasing the number and value of international research partnerships

The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina are known for excellence in research. In 2018-19, $19 million was provided to Saskatchewan researchers to fund more than 4,100 internationally co-authored published papers. University faculty across the province engage in global research and contribute to a vast array of topics that impact the world.

International Education Week is celebrated in more than 100 countries to raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of international education. To learn more about International Education Week, please visit: http://cbie.ca/upcoming-events/international-education-week

Source: https://www.yorktonthisweek.com/regional-news/interational-education-week-in-sask-1.24239923

Five Quick Facts on Remembrance Day – Study in Canada

There are several reasons for International students and skilled workers to choose Canada as their next milestone. Not only the land of maple promises a high quality of life but also endless opportunities and academic excellence, in other words Canada offers international students the very best of both the worlds. Whether you choose to study in one of Canada’s large, vibrant cities or settle on a small campus in a warm, welcoming community, your experience will be one that will shape your life. It may lead to a career and a future in Canada, or better career prospects at home. At the very least, it will give you access to Canada’s multicultural diversity, clean environment and incredible quality of life.

That brings us to today’s blog post on Canada’s rich cultural heritage. One of the most significant reasons for International students to choose Canada over any other option is the country’s multicultural diversity. The culture of Canada embodies the artistic, literary, humour, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Which makes it extremely important for new immigrants and students to learn about Canada’s culture when planning to move to this beautiful land. In today’s blog post we discuss the significance of one of the most important days in Canada’s calendar.

Remembrance day, also known as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy, is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Here are five quick facts on Remembrance Day and how this important day is celebrated across Canada:

  1. Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called “Armistice Day” to commemorate armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.—on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
  2. Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a moment of silence to honour and remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace. We remember the more than 2,300,000 Canadians who have served throughout our nation’s history and the more than 118,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice.
  3. The poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day. Replica poppies are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to provide assistance to Veterans.
  4. Remembrance Day is a federal statutory holiday in Canada. It is also a statutory holiday in three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and in six provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador).
  5. The national ceremony is held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Governor General of Canada presides over the ceremony. It is also attended by the Prime Minister, other government officials, representatives of Veterans’ organizations, diplomatic representatives, other dignitaries, Veterans as well as the general public.

Source: Veterans Affairs Canada

Is Alberta the New Hot Canadian Province for International Students?

Alberta has two new PNPs for international student graduates who want to start a business in the province

The higher education system in Alberta is globally recognized for outstanding universities, colleges, technical institutes and state-of-the-art research facilities. The University of Alberta alone is home to a friendly community of over 7,700 international students. In fact, University of Alberta’s Maple Leaf scholarships are specifically offered to international students in Canada and recognize outstanding academic achievement. Read more about University of Alberta here.

With Alberta’s new PNPs, international students have even more reason to choose this munificent Canadian province. The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has announced two new immigration pathways to encourage international graduates to open businesses in Alberta.

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream started on October 26. This new Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is for recent international student graduates from Alberta post-secondaries. The new immigration stream operates on an Expression of Interest system, which is now open to submissions. Candidates who submit an Expression of Interest will be assessed by the AINP and given points. The highest-ranking candidates will receive an invitation to submit a Business Application. Only candidates who receive the invitation, or Request, to apply will be able to access the AINP portal and start the process. However, receiving a Request is not a guarantee that applicants will get Canadian permanent residence.

Alberta will also launch the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream in January 2021. This stream is for international student graduates from top U.S. universities and colleges, who want to start a business and settle in Alberta communities. More details on this stream will be available later this year.

Eligibility criteria for the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

International student graduates from all Alberta university and colleges must meet the following eligibility criteria in order to be considered for the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream.

  • They must be immigrating to Alberta to establish a new business or buy an existing business, and have at least 34 per cent ownership of the company. The proposed business type must not be on Alberta’s list of ineligible businesses.
  • Candidates need at least six months of full-time work experience, which can be a combination of actively managing or owning the business, according to the AINP webpage. This could also include an equivalent amount of experience with a business incubator, business accelerator, or entrepreneurship program courses.

Eligible candidates also need a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least seven in all proficiencies in either English or French.

There are also a number of factors that increase candidates’ chances of receiving a Request. The business should have an economic benefit to Alberta through job creation, investment, and developed intellectual property among others. Candidates ages 21 to 49 years old also have an advantage. If the candidate or their spouse or common law partner have immediate family living full-time in Alberta, it will also increase their chances. Spouses or common-law partners may contribute to a candidate’s application if they have at least one year of full-time work experience in Alberta, or at least two years of full-time study at an Albertan post-secondary. If they don’t have Alberta experience, it will also help their application if they have a CLB of at least five in English or French in all language abilities.

Source: CIC News

Where International Students Can Study in Canada (For Now)

Select colleges and universities across Canada have officially been approved to begin welcoming international students again. While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought most international travel to a halt, Canadian learning institutions will be able to bring foreign students back to their campuses again as long as certain requirements are met.

Overseas students coming to study in Canada must also meet government regulated criteria.

While not all Canadian learning institutions are currently listed, more colleges and universities will be added to the list once their provincial or territorial government approves them.

How to Study in Canada Without Leaving Home

With international travel still difficult for much of the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada recently took steps to make it easier for students to begin studying at Canadian colleges and universities via the Internet while still in their home countries. They began by addressing overseas students with questions about how they could obtain a post-graduate work permit after completing their studies.

In regards to the change they made earlier in the year that made it able for students to apply for permits without all of the required paperwork, they reinforced that this is still the case but complete applications will be processed first.

They continued on to explain what is required to have an application pass both the Eligibility and Admissibility stages.

For future updates, be sure to follow the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship on Twitter and the official Canada Campus Visits social media accounts as well.