Ontario Addressing Spike in Foreign Students

Ontario Addressing Spike in Foreign Students

The Ontario government will introduce a suite of measures to protect students and improve the integrity of Ontario’s postsecondary education.

“The challenges stemming from the recent spike in students coming to Canada, including predatory practices by bad-actor recruiters, misinformation regarding citizenship and permanent residency, false promises of guaranteed employment, and inadequate housing for students, require immediate attention and collaborative action,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “At the same time, we need to strengthen the links between Ontario’s labour market needs and the programs being offered to students so we can get even more people into rewarding careers in health care and the skilled trades.”

To protect the integrity of postsecondary education and promote employment in critical sectors like health care and the skilled trades, the government’s measures will include the following:

Colleges and Universities

  • Institute a review of programs offered by postsecondary institutions that have a sizeable amount of international students to ensure that program quality protects Ontario’s reputation as a world leader in education and meets Ontario’s labour market demands.
  • Ensure that programs being offered are meeting the needs of the labour market so that students can build a life in Ontario once their education is complete.
  • Introduce a moratorium on new public college-private partnerships while further work is done to strengthen oversight mechanisms and ensure the quality of existing partnerships.
  • Implement measures to improve the response rate to student outcome surveys that will help ensure the best academic outcomes are being achieved.
  • Require all colleges and universities to have a guarantee that housing options are available for incoming international students.

Career Colleges

  • Better integrate enforcement efforts across ministries to strengthen oversight of career colleges, including enhanced data management, documentation processes, and the efficacy of compliance investigations, ensuring timely responses to concerns and complaints.

The Ontario government will also work with sector partners and the federal government to explore ways to further crack down on bad-actor recruiters who take advantage of international students and make dubious claims of employment and citizenship.

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