Canada should set up a new Crown corporation to attract international students to its universities, says a new report commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Canadian International Council (CIC).
Time for a Fresh Curriculum points out that Canada can capture a big share of the international student market. Currently, Canada ranks eighth by the number of students. The foreign-education seekers are a good source of income and the US takes advantage of this by taking in more than twice as many students as Canada.
Canada has a competitive advantage to attract the world’s best and brightest young people. It has immigration policies that incentivize higher education and youth. The report however suggests that Canada needs to work harder at attracting and welcoming international students, particularly in light of the recent political squabbles over immigration.
A steady increase in foreign student numbers cannot be achieved easily. It depends on a number of factors like the unpredictable shifts in public opinion on immigration and preferential treatment of foreigners in the workplace. Although Canada has yet to experience such a backlash, the recent furore over temporary foreign workers and the simmering resentment against immigrants could play a negative role in attracting foreign students.
The report also urges Canada to encourage its own students to think of overseas education when considering their post-secondary options. The report claims that these “young ambassadors” will help improve relations by strengthening the education and cultural ties between host and home nations.