How will the student visa cuts turn out for Ontario?

How will the student visa cuts turn out for Ontario?

The new study permit policy threatens the stability of higher education in the province.

The Canadian province of Ontario is facing a challenge after the announcement of the federal government's plans to cut the number of visas for international students. The decision will be a blow to the region's higher education economy, which has become increasingly dependent on international students as a source of funding. In the past two years, Ontario has issued approximately 240,000 study permits to foreigners, but now Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced that the number will need to be cut in half.

Are Ontario's universities dependent on international students?

The Ontario government, led by Premier Doug Ford, is faced with the difficult choice of distributing a limited number of international students among institutions. The situation is complicated by the fact that the financial situation of colleges and universities in Ontario has already been called "dangerous" by experts. They note that without international students, many institutions will not survive.

In Ontario, according to a study by Higher Education Strategy Associates, a consulting firm, post-secondary institutions' revenue from international student fees far exceeds government funding and domestic student fees. In this context, Alain Roy, vice-president of international partnerships at Colleges and Institutes Canada, warns that changes in visa policy could lead to program and campus closures and layoffs.

The role of the provincial government in what is happening

The turning point in the reliance on international students was the reign of Prime Ministers Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford. Under Ford, the number of study permits issued doubled. Now, visa cuts and the elimination of work permits for graduates of some programs could seriously undermine the financial position of colleges dependent on international students, especially those that work in partnership with private educational institutions.

Pressure has mounted on the provincial government to decide how to deal with the upcoming financial ordeal. So far, Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop said the province is just learning about the changes and is developing a further plan of action.

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