2019-10-19 – More international students are choosing to study in Canada at universities in the Atlantic region, according to a new report.
The international cohort has driven a 20 percent increase in full-time student enrolment in the region, which covers the provinces of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Atlantic Canada now has a total of more than 19,000 full-time international students, according to the figures released by the Association of Atlantic Universities on Tuesday, October 15.
Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia has seen the largest increase, from 1,982 to 3,436 international students. Meanwhile, Dalhousie University, also in Nova Scotia, has the largest international student population in the region, at 4,417.
Memorial University in Newfoundland added 441 international students for a total population of 3,402, while New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University saw a nearly 40 percent spike in its numbers, to 255 international students.
The Association also reported that 94 percent of international students said they felt welcome in Atlantic Canada, with 77 percent saying they would like to live and work in the region after graduation.
These responses are of particular importance given the demographic challenges facing the region.
Atlantic Canada is at the acute end of Canada’s battle with ageing populations and shrinking labour markets.
The four provinces in the region have particular difficulties in attracting and retaining new immigrants.
The same can be said for international graduates, who represent important potential new permanent residents given they are young, have knowledge of Canada and its official languages, are Canadian educated and often have Canadian work experience.
Canada’s federal government, in partnership with the four provinces, launched the Atlantic Immigration Pilot to help tackle the demographic issue.
The AIP includes three immigration streams, including one aimed specifically at international graduates.
Streams Under The Atlantic Immigration Pilot
1) Atlantic High-Skilled Program
The Atlantic High-Skilled Program is aimed at skilled workers with management, professional or technical/skilled job experience. There are also other requirements. The job offer must last for at least one year.
Read more about the Atlantic High-Skilled Program.
2) Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program
The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program is aimed at candidates for jobs requiring a high school education and/or job-specific training. There are also other requirements. The job offer must be permanent.
Read more about the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program.
3) Atlantic International Graduate Program
The Atlantic International Graduate Program is aimed at candidates who have a degree, diploma or another credential from a publicly-funded institution in an Atlantic province. Work experience is not required. The job offer must last for at least one year.
Read more about the Atlantic International Graduate Program.