HALIFAX, Aug. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - The international student strategy released by the Federal Government today addresses concerns raised by students regarding improvements to the visa application process, pathways to immigration, and consistent access to services regardless of the province of study. However the strategy fails to address the high level of tuition fees charged to international students.
"Students are encouraged by the government's plan to strengthen Canada's reputation as a nation of choice for international students by improving study and immigration opportunities", said Adam Awad, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Unfortunately the strategy ignores the skyrocketing costs faced by international students".
Tuition fees charged to international students are more than three-times those charged to Canadian students. While stakeholders have identified that a reduction in tuition fees would increase Canada's global competitiveness in attracting international students, the strategy merely proposes minor increases in the number of scholarships for which international students qualify.
"Combined with the proposed improvements to the immigration process, a reduction in tuition fees would greatly improve Canada's ability to attract students" said Awad.
Proposed improvements include reducing the turn around time for processing visa applications along with an easing of requirements. It also proposes amendments to Canada's Immigration Act to provide greater opportunities for international students to become permanent residents and citizens. In addition, the strategy identifies the need to standardise access to basic services like provincial health care for international students.
"We are optimistic that this step forward will improve Canada's international education program and provide new opportunities for students studying in Canada," says Awad.
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more than 600,000 students in all ten provinces. The Federation and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students
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